Black Clouds

Black Clouds

Catalog #: AHE-16
Format: 7" Vinyl/Digital
Release date: 2011

7": $5

A: Black Clouds
B: A Touch from the Wild Child

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Black Clouds

AHE-16 THE GANG VIOLETS – Black Clouds b/w A Touch from the Wild Child – 7″: $5

The Gang Violets are a dynamic pop collective founded by Jim Schwartz and Darla Scarpella. Fleshed out by a cast of characters from both coasts, they have spent years honing their unique homegrown sound, and All Hands Electric is proud and excited to announce the release their first 7″ single. Side A kicks off with “Black Clouds”, a tune that rises up like a campfire despite moody lyrics, and is impossible to forget with its hook laden cadences, elated group vocals, whispery calls, gospel swagger, and swooning closure.

On side B is “A Touch from the Wild Child”, a steady groover with flamenco claps, harmonium swells, ghostly Moriconne-esque backing vocals, and spacey guitar leads. Schwartz’s harmonic voice, deadpan at times, soaring at others, give cavalier lyrics like, “just write ‘times were good’ on my grave,” an elusive weight. Indeed, the Gang Violets are hard to pin down. They favor an eclectic pop aesthetic that recalls early Flaming Lips as well as the highs from The Brian Jonestown Massacre. But this is just a mere hint as to what this band is capable of!

-7″ vinyl is limited to 200 copies and comes with a download card.


“So many almost seem to be gawking through their music when they attempt to hit the VU spot, but that’s exactly where “Black Clouds” succeeds: By going after a sound goal and achieving it. As per always (Why can’t I just be normal?), I prefer the flip, despite the fact that “Black Clouds” is superior in a lot of ways and rocks a lot hip-harder. Schwartz’s voice has a Wooden Wand edge to it, too, that wise, weary drawl that sounds familiar yet foreign. “A Touch From the Wild Child” might even be the antithesis of its 7-inch sibling. It’s serious, a bit morose and more urgent; no emergencies here, but the black clouds, ironically considering the name of Side A, are on their way.

That records such as these can continue to emerge from young artists and sound like few before them is a testament to the bottomless endeavor that is music; no matter how deep you submerge, there’s always more temptation – some would say redemption – down just a little farther as the temperature gets colder, the pressure ratchets up and your lungs constrict. Take the journey, my brethren! The water is fine …”
-Grant Purdum (The Gumshoe Grove)


“Black Clouds”… has this loose Lou Reed country jam feel. My whole introduction to Lou Reed was that “Dirty Boulevard” song, his cool voice, over bare bones electric, and this is working in that general direction. Jim Schwartz has the same deep, real serious delivery and with this huge varied vocal accompaniment, it has something of a kids singalong album temperment…(Did Lou record a kids album?). Raw jangly honkey tonk guitar, from that time and part of the country where people just played music to each other for enjoyment because there wasn’t anything else to do. The Gang Violets are having the same kind of join along unpretentious fun…when this one starts to fade it comes back with a Velvet Underground “Heroin” speed up, faster and faster. Am I the only one hearing this? Seriously…did I listen to a lot of those guys lately or something? The B-Side, “A Touch From A Wild Child”, opens with some synthtastic sine waves into a more indie Fleetwood Mac sound with acoustic guitar, accordion and handclaps, and this time the vocals aren’t coming off as directly a descendant of VU, more layered with optimistic harmonies, but still in a gypsy-country way. An american Beruit sound, mining all of those backwoods sincere influences, the porches of these united states.”
-7 inches


“Black Clouds” is an alt country foot stomping hand clapping singalong that morphs into a psych folk meltdown. “A Touch from the Wild Child” features more percussion via hand clapping but mixes things up with a droning Harmonium and some echoing guitar leads and some haunting backing vocals. It is a the stand out track here crafting a compelling atmosphere that envelopes you and sucks you into The Gang Violets mysterious world. Highly recommended for fans of spacey psychedelia and Americana.”
-R.A.D. Vinyl