Tension /// Touch The Clouds

To say that you can cut the tension with a knife is a roundabout way of saying that the moment has become constricting. In the aftermath of falling prey to the moment, you respond by slicing through the stress with your most trustworthy coping mechanism. Perhaps, it’s in the form of a song that embodies the rigidity of being trapped in an uncomfortable spot. Luckily, Detroit alt rockers Touch The Clouds have returned with their latest single, the aptly named “Tension.” Looking for a release, “Tension” a mix of taut guitar and drums capture the aura of rising, external pressure. 

At the beginning, “Tension” delivers a resounding warning in the form of a siren-like, wah wah guitar effect. As far as alarms go, it has a subtle resonance. But, its hollow ring is decidedly ominous. As it turns out, it’s there to give you a heads up before the strained melody takes hold. From there on out, it’s a bundle of nerves that are ratcheted up by not only tightly constructed chords, but by lead singer Joe Phillips’ soaring exasperation.

Before it all boils over for Phillips, he calmly sets the scene of reaching the tipping point of losing one’s cool. As the needle slips into the red, he lets out an incensed, drawn out “tension” as the collective emotional steam escapes. Searching for saving graces in the form of numerology, “12:34 or 11:11,”  signs from the universe are sought after to deliver a guiding light from personal darkness. However, Phillips’ final words of “release me” make their retreat as if they were air fleeing a balloon. 

After being uplifted by the buoyant “Feeling Light,” “Tension” keeps you on the edge of your seat with nervous anticipation. It keeps you on high alert without any need for excessive sonic persuasion. Touch The Clouds have found a natural rhythm between hitting lofty heights and the subterranean depths of emotion.

Written by Travis Boyer

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