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The Cloud Room

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Drawing on the cool but insistent sounds of '80s post-punk acts such as Echo & the Bunnymen, Joy Division, and Bauhaus in a style not unlike such contemporaries as Interpol, the Kaiser Chiefs, and Bloc Party, Brooklyn's the Cloud Room became a buzz band when their superb single "Hey Now Now" became a sensation on college radio and music blogs in both America and the U.K. The Cloud Room is led by guitarist and singer J, who was born in San Jose, CA, and came to New York City to work in independent filmmaking, having been promised a job working on a Hal Hartley project (it was given to an NYU student at the last minute). J continued to work on the margins of the movie business but never lost interest in his first love, music. In 2004, J suffered a health crisis and was forced to wait 18 days for the results of a HIV test. Distraught, J began working on songs, one of which was "Hey Now Now"; when he got the good news that his test came back negative, an overjoyed J decided to focus his energies on music. Unhappy with the musicians he'd been working with, J recruited bassist Jonathan Petrow and drummer Jason Pharr from a friend's band, Morris Air (later known as Public), and hired David H (guitar) and Steven Milton (keyboards) through ads on Craigslist. Names for a Prohibition-era private nightclub located near the top of a Manhattan skyscraper, the Cloud Room's demos soon attracted the attention of the New York-based independent label Gigantic Music, and in 2005 they sent the band into the studio with producer Chris Zane to record their self-titled debut album, which earned rave reviews from hipster music journals as well as mainstream publications such as Spin, Rolling Stone, and The New York Times.

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