Album artwork for To Be a Cloud by The Saxophones
Album artwork for To Be a Cloud by The Saxophones

Resonating between sky and sea, you will hear The Saxophones; the husband and wife duo of Alexi Erenkov and Alison Alderdice whose minimalist after-hours tones will prop you up amidst the darkest corner of a smoky lounge bar. Documenting the next chapter of their lives having returned to Alexi’s childhood home 20 years later - this time with kids of their own - their third album To Be A Cloud resounds like a backyard soundtrack of rediscovery; rekindling their love for the jazz of their instrumental namesake and revealing what happens when just as a cloud transforms to rain, then snow, then river and returns once again to cloud, life comes full circle.

Never far from water, the album was recorded in the coastal town of Anacortes, Washington, under the high ceilings of Phil Elverum’s The Unknown studio. A former Catholic church where the pair lived during 24/7 recording sessions, time was no object as they experimented and developed the sound of the record. Its magical setting and ample space provided natural acoustics for Alexi’s arresting vocals which were recorded live to 24-track tape, suspending them in an ambiguous historical and chronological context between analogue and digital. Enhanced by Alison’s percussion alongside the bass and keys of Richard Laws, together they made the most of the studio’s many instruments which fill out and bookend their exploration of the billions of years of evolution that have led to this moment in time.

Like an ornate stream of consciousness telling journal entries, ‘Speak for You’ and ‘Boy Crazy’ are intimately personal stories of the exhausting joy of parenthood – raising boys with an awareness of the pitfalls and dangers of typical masculine behaviours. Elsewhere the intimate and contrasting gentle-ominous melody of ‘Margarita Mix’, the languid ‘Goddess in Repose’, and ‘Hunter,’ attempt to navigate what’s deemed to be roles of ‘woman’ and ‘man’ before ‘In My Defense’s lyrics (I don’t want to be a cloud / It bored me then it will bore me again) return to Hanh’s deep observations. “It can be comforting to think that upon death we continue to exist in other forms within the same system,” Alexi ponders, “but I find what I’m most afraid to give up is my consciousness. I haven’t come to terms with ego death. There is beauty in the idea of being a cloud, but also dread. I fear the nothingness of my cloud nature.”

Whether bringing the saxophone back into spotlight through instrumental solos and live performances, or delving deeper as they continue to explore the process of nurturing a new record as mindful as they do their own children, every step taken may be further from the start and yet, To Be A Cloud is another note closer to a reawakening of more good things come.

The album sits somewhere between Eden Ahbez, Angelo Badalamenti, Bill Callahan etc. Goes very well with a margarita in the sun.

The Saxophones

To Be a Cloud

Full Time Hobby
Album artwork for To Be a Cloud by The Saxophones
LP

£24.99£6.25

sale
Green
Limited to 900 copies
Released 02/06/2023Catalogue Number

FTH486LP

Album artwork for To Be a Cloud by The Saxophones
CD

£11.99

Released 02/06/2023Catalogue Number

FTH486CD

The Saxophones

To Be a Cloud

Full Time Hobby
Album artwork for To Be a Cloud by The Saxophones
LP

£24.99£6.25

sale
Green
Limited to 900 copies
Released 02/06/2023Catalogue Number

FTH486LP

Album artwork for To Be a Cloud by The Saxophones
CD

£11.99

Released 02/06/2023Catalogue Number

FTH486CD

Resonating between sky and sea, you will hear The Saxophones; the husband and wife duo of Alexi Erenkov and Alison Alderdice whose minimalist after-hours tones will prop you up amidst the darkest corner of a smoky lounge bar. Documenting the next chapter of their lives having returned to Alexi’s childhood home 20 years later - this time with kids of their own - their third album To Be A Cloud resounds like a backyard soundtrack of rediscovery; rekindling their love for the jazz of their instrumental namesake and revealing what happens when just as a cloud transforms to rain, then snow, then river and returns once again to cloud, life comes full circle.

Never far from water, the album was recorded in the coastal town of Anacortes, Washington, under the high ceilings of Phil Elverum’s The Unknown studio. A former Catholic church where the pair lived during 24/7 recording sessions, time was no object as they experimented and developed the sound of the record. Its magical setting and ample space provided natural acoustics for Alexi’s arresting vocals which were recorded live to 24-track tape, suspending them in an ambiguous historical and chronological context between analogue and digital. Enhanced by Alison’s percussion alongside the bass and keys of Richard Laws, together they made the most of the studio’s many instruments which fill out and bookend their exploration of the billions of years of evolution that have led to this moment in time.

Like an ornate stream of consciousness telling journal entries, ‘Speak for You’ and ‘Boy Crazy’ are intimately personal stories of the exhausting joy of parenthood – raising boys with an awareness of the pitfalls and dangers of typical masculine behaviours. Elsewhere the intimate and contrasting gentle-ominous melody of ‘Margarita Mix’, the languid ‘Goddess in Repose’, and ‘Hunter,’ attempt to navigate what’s deemed to be roles of ‘woman’ and ‘man’ before ‘In My Defense’s lyrics (I don’t want to be a cloud / It bored me then it will bore me again) return to Hanh’s deep observations. “It can be comforting to think that upon death we continue to exist in other forms within the same system,” Alexi ponders, “but I find what I’m most afraid to give up is my consciousness. I haven’t come to terms with ego death. There is beauty in the idea of being a cloud, but also dread. I fear the nothingness of my cloud nature.”

Whether bringing the saxophone back into spotlight through instrumental solos and live performances, or delving deeper as they continue to explore the process of nurturing a new record as mindful as they do their own children, every step taken may be further from the start and yet, To Be A Cloud is another note closer to a reawakening of more good things come.

The album sits somewhere between Eden Ahbez, Angelo Badalamenti, Bill Callahan etc. Goes very well with a margarita in the sun.