Transcendent and Transformative Music: Cloud Cult

I discovered Cloud Cult music about one year ago. I was listening to Pandora radio while working on my computer. About halfway through a song I hadn't heard before I stopped what I was doing and had to just focus on the music. The song was unique and mesmerizing. I was struck by the combination of electronica, simple piano and flute. The lyrics were disarmingly straightforward, honest and refreshingly sincere. The voice transformed from an electronic one into a recognizable "human" version towards the end.  It finished with a whole chorus extolling the power of love over death. What had I uncovered? Over the past year, my life has been enriched on almost daily basis as I explore the depth of Cloud Cult's art. I've found a band that inspires, motivates, and fills me with a desire to live well. What is remarkable about their work is that it touches upon the full spectrum of human emotion and experience. They deal with deep, tragic loss, confusion, and the search for meaning. But the band is not content to stop there and merely highlight the search. When they find genuine goodness in the world and in others, they broadcast it with deep joy. Many of their most passionate and intense songs urge listeners to wake up and live for what matters (like Sleepwalker and The Calling).

I've discovered that they have an army of similarly devoted fans (which is why "cult" is such an apt part of their name). I recently finished an excellent book about the band entitled Chasing the Light: the Cloud Cult Story written by English professor Mark Allister. He was able to explain in great detail why Cloud Cult has had such a powerful impact on thousands of people across the world. The biggest reason I think is that the band dives deep into what truly matters in life. The lead singer (and musical genius) Craig Minowa seems to be irresistibly drawn to ultimate questions about reality, love, death, suffering, destruction, and our ability to choose good (or evil).

Years ago, Craig and his wife lost their young son who was not yet two years old. Their boy simply didn't wake up one morning. This unimaginable pain and loss has played a significant role in Cloud Cult's music and has provided comfort to others who have also lost loved ones. As detailed in Allister's book, I respect the band immensely for playing at the funeral of three young girls who loved their music and were killed in a tragic accident. Even after I have listened to "My Little Sunshine" probably over 20 times, it unfailingly brings out tears.

Thank you Cloud Cult.  I am grateful for your stunning, life-changing art.

GrowthErick Widman