Cloud Grazer – In The Pines
First fell madly in love with van Norte‘s guitar strings creating melodies so warm and song so beautiful back in February, with “As the Wetsuits Hang to Dry.” Totally captivated by the comfort and charm found in his soft, soothing sounds, I’ve been eager to get my hands on something more from him since. So, when a note came through from Joel (van Norte) writing of his newest music venture — Cloud Grazer, a guitar and DJ duo — I knowingly prepared myself to float from my seat at first listen.
And this time around, there was something even more than the brilliance of his music I was eager to share. It was the story he had written to introduce his song; I grabbed to it tight.
“To me, it’s a really interesting project because we are quite literally opposites. He’s a 6’3″ teenage scholar, studying several grades ahead of his age in University. And he’s from the Ukraine, which is currently quite troubled by Russia influence and separatists, which he doesn’t like to highlight because it’s quite sad. On the other hand, I’m over 30. I have a graduate degree and work as a marine biologist. I live near the ocean and have no worries. I surf and am mostly concerned about choosing the dankest vegetables and most gourmet beers… and from these opposite directions we reach this middle ground of bright poppy music.”
The Most Definitely as a collective has a strong surf-culture ethos, and I find Joel’s outlook and mentality to fit-in with this so well. Even more, his story is as unique and inspiring as his sound. His words painted his eloquent picture perfectly, so I asked him to more formally introduce himself to you:
Music is a destination. It’s a place to gather, nod your head, and revel in community. For Cloud Grazer that destination is clear, but each musician took very different paths to get there. This duo meshes intimate melodies with a bright, open style, washed in a beachfront surf culture.
Cloud Grazer is a group comprised of San Diego-based guitarist and marine biologist, vanNorte, and Ukrainian teen, DJ, and producer, Skylined. Instead of somber reflections of artillery, urban decay, and the threat of occupation that have come to characterize aspects of contemporary Ukraine, Skylined brings a vision of hope and buoyancy that lift these melodies and kicks them along with a steady snare and drum. Together, they cast off these dramas, whether that’s the harsh reality of war or the vapid concern of a crowded lineup, exaggerated rent, drought, or ecological demise, and meet at the ocean’s edge with an eye to the horizon.