Updated: Oct 21, 2021
Jon Cloumassis & the boys of Cedarsmoke are back, this time with their debut album Into the Wild World. The Brisbane-based music warriors had previously bottled sonic gold with their singles 'Anything' & 'Sadly Ever After,' and now offer up 13-tracks of gilded musical fury to pour right into your ear holes. The album touches on themes of youthful vice, virtue & apprehension:
“The album deals with different aspects of being in your twenties and being in the throes of a quarter-life crisis. It aims to convey that entering adulthood is also like entering the real and wild world and the first time you have to properly confront adult freedoms and responsibilities like work, sex, love, money, alcohol, excess and restraint.”
We were lucky enough to catch up with the rocktagonal-prisms behind the album and plumb the depths of Into the Wild World:
‘Sadly Ever After’ has a really interesting 50’s sound with the chords and feel - it sounds like something from a musical like Crybaby, but ruthless & with the gain turned way up. Did the song naturally shape up this way, or did you experiment with different things? What can you tell me about the songwriting process for this one? It’s such a unique sound.
I originally wrote it on the acoustic guitar and it sounded a lot more like a slower, 50’s type of ballad so it felt necessary to experiment with it a bit so it didn’t sound too derivative. The gain and distorted guitars were figured out through the demoing process, but I think the song didn’t really come together until we worked on it in the studio. Cam Smith, who recorded the album and played drums really helped by suggesting we increase the tempo and by adding the synth and keyboard sounds. Maddie Kienonen also helped polish the song with her stellar vocal performance.
I’m so excited for the upcoming album release. I really dig your previous EP Everything is the Worst. Will Into the Wild World contrast from previous releases - be it with a different tone or new experimentation etc - or will it fit snuggly with your impressive previous body of work? What can you tell us about the upcoming album?
Yes and no. Being our first album, we wanted it to reflect the sound and themes we’ve created over our EP’s but without repeating ourselves. There are definitely some new sounds that we haven’t used much before like the 12-string guitar, mellotron and guest vocals from Maddie but we did want it to still have the electric guitars, piano and acoustic guitars we’ve previously relied on. The album is representative of what we’ve worked towards as a band but having said that, there’s a still a lot of variety and new sounds on it.
‘Sadly Ever After’ really contrasts with your previous single, ‘Anything.’ They almost go hand-in-hand together, like the pages from a book. Will we be seeing more storytelling like this on the upcoming album? Is it indicative of the sort of thing we can be hyped for on Into the Wild World?
There’s definitely a lot of storytelling on the album and characters that reappear throughout on different tracks and in different settings. The intention was for the album to have lyrical threads that correlate and themes that tie it all together in that way so that it is structured a bit like a book with a real introduction and conclusion.
The cover for Into the Wild World is REALLY beautiful and cool. I love it. Who did the art, and what’s the story there? Did you have other options, or did you know that was ‘the one’ straight away? Did you have the idea for the art from the start, or did it form on it’s own?
Thank you. I actually had a rough vision and idea of art for the album prior to making it. We collaborated with a graphic designer to put it together and we’re really happy with the end result. I pictured a collage artwork and wanted the scattered images on the cover to be references to the lyrics throughout the album. Things like the moon, cow, dishes, spoons, snakes & ladders represent some of the fairy-tale or childish imagery in the lyrics and contrast things like the chemical compounds, airplanes, syringes which represent the darker and more adult themes on the album.
Maddie Kienonen of Dumb Things vocals to the track ‘Sadly Ever After.’ How did that relationship form? What was it like to work with her?
We feel really lucky and grateful that Maddie sang on our album. I’d always been a fan of Dumb Things and when I told my girlfriend that I was looking for a female vocalist to sing on the album she suggested her friend Maddie. We couldn’t really believe our luck when she agreed to sing on the album and we couldn’t be happier with the thoughtful way she contributed to the songs.
Do you have any upcoming live gig plans to promote the album? We’d love to see you live!!!
Yes! We’re very excited about a couple upcoming gigs we have lined up. We’re playing a show at The Bearded Lady in West End on Friday the 5th of November with Jordan Merrick, Lisa Deangelis, Hugo Stranger & The Rattlers and Brendan The Bard. We are also playing on 17 November with Sectionals at O’Skulligans.
What will we see from you next, going into the end of this year and the next?
We’ll be playing some more gigs this year and gearing up to record another album. The next one is all written and we’re looking to start recording it late this year and hopefully finish it off in early 2022.
Be sure to catch the aural wizards on the 5th at The Beardo, and make sure your ears shake hands with Into the Wild World, available this Friday the 22nd of October! My current top pick for the album is the goodbye ballad 'Some Things,' with the caveat that the top pick is elusive and could change from day to day. The album is so eclectic and explores so many different emotional avenues, that it will offer something different to the audient with each listening.