Demarnia Lloyd 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 Lloyd 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 compatriots multi-instrumentalist Craig Monk and string virtuoso/guitarist Johannes Contag filling the line-up (with Lloyd on vocals and sequencing).
Over the course of the next 6 years, Lloyd 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 Lloyd’s delicate, frail and soothing voice. Lloyd’s recordings however are far more simplified (her tour performances often feature no more than a Casiotone keyboard!) and leave everything her emotionally-packed voice and intriguing lyrics. Seeing Demarnia Lloyd 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 Lloyd 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, Lloyd 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.
Lloyd was made the inaugural artist in residence at Smiths Grainstore in Oamaru in 2002 and spent the time producing her stunning solo album ‘Set upon a curve’. Cloudboy announced their break-up in 2003.
Finally in 2023 Flying Nun Records reissued the groups epic debut on vinyl for the first time as part of their Record Store Day celebrations, the group followed this by announcing a reunion tour to play the album at the end of the year.
- Demarnia Lloyd (Mink, Munky Kramp, vocals / piano / xylophone)
- Craig Monk (Mink, Swarm, Suka, violin / cello)
- Johannes Contag (Bad Statistics, Ferocious, Mink, Sleepytime, The Golden Awesome, The Renderers, bass / guitar)
- Heath Te Au (Heka, Mink, Suka, The Dark Beaks, The Puddle, drums / percussion)
- Chris O’Connor (Don McGlashan and The Seven Sisters, Don McGlashan and the Others, Lucien Johnson plus 5, Syzygy, The Phoenix Foundation, The Snouts, drums)
- Cloudboy EP (1995, Cloudboy / Infinite regress)
- ‘Nicknames of devils’ / ‘Little prince’ picture-disk 7″ lathe-cut (1996, Cloudboy / Infinite regress)
- ‘Pet’/’You set me on fire’ 7″ single (1996, Flying Nun Records, FN347)
- Down at the end of the garden (2001, Cloudboy / Arc Life, CLOUD004/ARCLIFE010)