demarnia started her musical career in the dunedin electro-pop outfit mink during the early 90s. mink went on to make 2 solid albums – their self-titled debut and the 96 release for my mink, but demarnia decided that she need to change their formula, so cloudboy was formed as a more eclectic, darker and quieter offspring. eventually mink fell away, and the more concentrated form of cloudboy took over, with mink comptriates multi-instrumentalist craig monk and string virtuoso/guitarist johannes contag filling the line-up (with demarnia on vocals and sequencing).
over the course of the next 6 years, demarnia continued to produce her own solo material (sometimes as cloudgirl, sometimes as cloud coupe, and sometimes just as demarnia lloyd) and released the trace ep as well as several tracks on the arc cafe compilations. monk is also involved with the rock-orientated suka (along with former cloudboy drummer heath te au), who are also major contributors to the arc-life cd compilations, and are well known around dunedin.
generally cloudboy’s recordings tend to be very heavy on abstract and complicated instrumentation, with their debut self-titled ep setting the standard with a complete orchestra of strings, tastefully arranged around demarnia’s delicate, frail and soothing voice. demarnia’s recordings however are far more simplified (her tour performances often feature no more than a casio-tone keyboard!) and leave everything her emotionally-packed voice and intrigueing lyrics. seeing demarnia live in an intimate setting is one of the most amazing experiences i can say that i’ve witnessed, she truly is spell-bounding.
in 2001, cloudboy released their epic creation down at the end of the garden, touring the album as an accompaniment to performance play that demarnia wrote for the music, dragging costumes, sets and an array of musicians (the album features 8 primary musicians as well as a number of guests) from one end of the country to the other. the album is flawless, it flows with grace and a dark beauty, and never falls into any of the formula’s that define pop music. in the time since its initial release, demarnia released her solo full length debut ‘set upon a curve’, and is in the process of developing a european tour for the cloudboy album and performance piece.
picks in bold
- cloudboy ep [1995 cloudboy / infinite regress]
- ‘little prince’/’nicknames’ picture-disk 7″ lathe-cut [1996 cloudboy / infinite regress]
- ‘pet’/’you set me on fire’ 7″ single [1996 flying nun FN347]
- down at the end of the garden [2001 cloudboy / arc life / global routes cloud004/arclife010] rn
download from mp3.co.nz
- (you’re so) prettyrn
- cup of rosesrn