After years of acoustics and metal, German singer Cloudy June now aims for “die Diskothek” on her newest release, “High Waist to Hell”.
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Stream: “High Waist to Hell” – Cloudy June
ince the 18th century, Berlin has been an influential musical center in Germany and Europe,” Wikipedia informs us. Even the most casual of music fans can likely think of many ways in which that statement is valid. From the great classical composers of many eras ago, to the metal and electronica acts that have ruled the city’s underground scene in modern times, innumerable musicians have made their mark on the sprawling German capital. And now one of the latest to contribute to her hometown’s performing arts scene is 21-year-old Cloudy June with her new single “High Waist to Hell” (released April 17).
Born Claudia Terry Verdecia, Cloudy June grew up in central Berlin and was quick to adopt her mother’s love of musical performance. “I took guitar lessons for a few months when I was 8 years old and wrote my first songs when I was 11,” she has explained. “Around the age of 13, I picked up my guitar again and started to teach myself how to play songs that I loved. And since then, I’ve just kept playing and writing.”
Not long after beginning to play guitar, Claudia published her first music on SoundCloud and has maintained a steady creative output ever since. She continues to perform her own covers of the songs that she loves, such as the Animals’ “House of the Rising Sun,” and has also taken to the stage alongside other artists, including Berlin-based Australian pop singer Kat Frankie. Claudia also joined the heavy metal group New Greed and helped them produce a recent 20-minute EP, The Evocation. Her time with New Greed also inspired her stage name: Cloudy is a homonym of her nickname, Claudi, while June is the month of Berlin’s annual Rocktreff Music Festival, and performing there with the band ranks as one of her most memorable career moments to date.
When she‘s got her high waist to hell
She says she’ll send you straight to heaven baby
You think you’re free but you’re under the spell
So is it true you like the kind of crazy
You like my crazy?
She left you hanging on her lips and you still taste her
Want to break free but it’s too late to escape her
She owns you
Now she got you where she wants, you can’t let her go
Let her go
In recent years, Cloudy June has taken a turn towards crafting original compositions. Her four-track 2018 EP, Heartless, provided just enough space for her to demonstrate her burgeoning skills as both a songwriter and a guitarist. Her artistic growth was particularly remarkable on the eye-opening title track, an emotionally vulnerable number which chastised a former companion for his lack of empathy (“I need this pain so I can flourish with creativity that’s endless,” she sings). A few months ago, she added to her steady-growing collection with “Somewhere In Between Us,” a song that deals with mental health and abuse and which she described as sonically moving in the direction she would like to head.
Despite that declared intention, “High Wait To Hell,” doesn’t really represent a direct extension of the sounds and styles of “Somehwere in Between Us.” Her latest single consists more of electronica than piano-playing and it’s also considerably more upbeat than its slightly ominous predecessor. All the same, there remains plenty to admire in “High Waist to Hell,” a track inspired by AC/DC in perhaps more ways than just the title.
One has to suspect that this piece is something of a self-portrait, as it describes a young lady with plenty of ambition and big plans for the future, the kind of gal who’s ‘gonna play with you and make you a believer.‘ As the song progresses, we’re treated to further details of this demoiselle: she’s a ‘black widow baby leaving lipstick stains,’ the kind ‘you’ll want to break free [from] but it’s too late to escape her.’ You (meaning the type of guy who has a knack for following women down this type of road) will ultimately have no choice but to become absorbed by her brand of craziness and marvel as she tears your heart to pieces.
We’ve encountered women of this nature in pop music before- the one at the center of the ring in Britney Spears’ “Circus,” the “Maneater” described by both Nelly Furtado and Hall & Oates, and so on. But it’s always compelling to see who such ladies will manage to seduce next and by what means. Cloudy June’s solid penmanship makes this another compelling case study, and it’s served by a lively keyboard-sprinkled electronica beak that demonstrates her versatility in both contemporary and traditional instrumentation.
“High Waist to Hell” is much more club oriented than her acoustic and metal-style material from before, perhaps signaling the direction where she now hopes to direct her musical output. We’ll see what the future holds, but for now Cloudy June has crafted a compelling character with the lady who, “when she’s got her high waist to hell, she says she’ll send you straight to heaven, baby.” That successful outcome is entirely fitting for an artist with such altruistic career ambitions.
“My goal is for my music to be heard around the world,” she tells Atwood Magazine. “I want to create something that lives on, that brings joy to people and I want to write songs that make people feel understood for when they’re stuck in a bad situation or when they feel like they don’t belong.”
We certainly wish her well in those regards.
Stream: “High Waist to Hell” – Cloudy June
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