Under her indie-pop artist name Cloudy, Claudia Paine has shown us a unique talent as a songwriter with her debut EP titled ‘Good Grief’. The 5-track EP includes a mixture of heartfelt, softer songs, interwoven with catchy pop-inspired tunes and creative twists.
Currently residing in Auckland, the Kiwi/Austrian began releasing music in late 2019 with her first single Dear Dunkin, a dreamy, whimsical folk-pop song opening with the playful lyrics, “I’m going down to dunkin’ doughnuts, hope you meet me there,” accompanied by bright and hopeful ukulele lead instrumentation. With clever lyrics and clarity of voice Cloudy ensured audiences listen attentively so they don’t miss the rest of her story – you almost feel as if you might be in a happy sugar-high trance, perhaps from all the doughnuts mentioned in the song.
Following the success of that debut single came three more singles that appear on ‘Good Grief’ – Addicted To You, I’ll Stay and Self-Help Guide. Having shown us this fun, down-to-earth side with her single Dear Dunkin, Cloudy twists our expectations by delivering a multi-faceted EP that leans away from folk-pop and more towards alternative/indie pop, showing that just one category will not be enough to describe her artistic potential. The EP’s first track, I’ll Stay, is a standout and the perfect introduction to Cloudy’s developing sound. Interesting rhythmic moments, bursts of lush vocal layers, a catchy chorus that’ll get stuck in your head and uplifting lyrics about not abandoning someone important to you.
Unrequited Love, which follows, is, by comparison, a measured piano ballad, though the piano is allowed to fall away completely at times, leaving a naturally emotive voice to carry the sparse lyrics. With the aid of a much more bouncy rhythm and more of those clever dynamic bursts Self-Help Guide ventures towards pop-rock. Addicted To You slows things back down, again with a minimal piano backing that this time is allowed to develop into more electronic production. Who Am I closes out her set with more evidence that she has enough vocal interest and natural strength to require little in the way of accompaniment.
‘Good Grief’ has a high quality, polished sound thanks to Cloudy’s collaboration with producer Harry Charles. With mixing done by Morgan Allen and mastering by PrimalMastering, Cloudy has surrounded herself with a talented team that no doubt encouraged her to explore her sound within the creation of this EP. With full band performances planned throughout music venues in Auckland in the coming months, Cloudy has shown us she is here to stay.