Cleared – Breaking Day

Cleared – Breaking Day


Breaking Day is the second full-length album from Cleared, the Chicago-based duo of Steven Hess and Michael Vallera. While their self-titled debut album (Immune 014, Jan 2011) found the duo exploring themes of stasis and texture, Breaking Day represents a huge development in the scope and overall style of the project. Where previous material had been slowly assembled from dozens of individual recordings and experiments, this new collection of songs was born from the raw documentation of Cleared’s live performance in the studio. Elements of noise, drone, and psychedelia are filtered through a dark, unifying lens that ranges from relentless rhythmic assault to monolithic tonal sculpture. Dueling rhythms of drums and sampled percussion, walls of undulating soundscapes, and hypnotic guitar are deployed with heightened intensity and force. If Cleared’s first record presented a frozen, gray-washed realm of ambient sound, Breaking Day represents its inverse: A blackened subterranean space of alien movement and activity; a premonition of an assault from the unknown.


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In addition to their work with Immune, Cleared has released music on Digitalis Limited and contributed to the Antiopic compilation, Benefit for the Recovery in Japan. Their self-titled debut album found comparisons ranging from This Heat to Wolfgang Voigt and Yellow Swans. Praised by Boomkat as one of the best albums released in 2011, Cleared became a template for the project’s unique combination of dissonance and fragile melodic undertones. Slowly building a reputation for an intense and immersive live show, Cleared have been privileged to share the stage with such artists as Radian, Ken Camden, Expo 70, and David Daniell. The band will embark on their first US tour in support of Breaking Day playing shows with Mind Over Mirrors (Digitalis) and Koen Holtkamp (Thrill Jockey).


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