For the past few years multi-instrumentalist and illustrator Nick Corbo (formerly of LVL UP) began working on a new body of music and visual art as Spirit Was. On his debut studio album, Heaven’s Just a Cloud, Corbo explores heavy, distorted instrumentation and experimental techniques. His ability to focus on small details and weave them into vast networks is apparent in all of the music and artwork throughout his catalogue and especially now on Heaven’s Just A Cloud. In its density, the album is threaded with memorable lyrics and recapitulating musical themes that guide the listener. It’s haunting, beautiful scenes of the natural world feel just as represented in the warm, classic, wooden floors of country rock as they do in the dark, droning, shadows of doom and black metal.
The album’s dichotomy is masterfully sewn on album opener and lead single, “I Saw the Wheel”, which was written as a two part song and features Crying’s Z Santos on vocals and Rashaad Jones on cello. Corbo explains, “It’s about waking up in the back of the van on the highway in the middle of the country with nothing out there on either side and coming to the realization your band is gonna break up soon. Also, the bizarre sensation of finally seeing a shape in perspective while making a drawing.”
The striking accompanying video was inspired by the work of photographer Gregory Crewdson. Filmed in Corbo’s hometown of Torrington, CT, the footage features a collection of locations he remembers vividly from his childhood.
He reveals, “Director Rob Kolodny and I were brainstorming ideas for the video and started focusing on our mutual love for Gregory Crewdson. As we explored those references more and more we realized how eerily representative it was of my hometown, and decided to make some of those locations the focus of the video. Our aim was to capture the uncomfortable serenity of some of those places and, over the course of the song, develop them into very intentional, choreographed, and other-worldly scenes. Rob and the House of Nod team did an amazing job bringing ‘I Saw the Wheel’ to life.”
Photo Courtesy: Dave Medina