Toronto trio Absolutely Free share their first release in seven years. Called How to Paint Clouds, the single is from the band’s impending second studio album Aftertouch which lands on September 14th.

Since the band’s Polaris Music Prize-nominated debut album in 2014, Absolutely Free have been involved with multimedia projects such as Geneva Freeport EP in 2019 (featuring U.S. Girls’ Meg Remy).

Comprised of the core trio of Matt King (vocals/multi-instrumentalist), Michael Claxton (bass/synth), and Moshe Fisher-Rozenberg (drums/synth), Absolutely Free is an offshoot of the now-defunct experimental rock outfit DD/MM/YYYY.

How to Paint Clouds guides the listener from the opening sitar-like notes and on into a shimmering landscape of shifting layers. Matt King’s vocals float above the dense synths and propulsive tribal drums, and the track maintains a perfect balance between depth and fragility. There are shades of fellow Canadian psych outfit Elephant Stone in the delicate interplay of vocals and instrumentation. Absolutely Free’s captivating and jubilant track sets the scene for their upcoming album.

The track contemplates the impermanence of art, and the nature of interpretation, asking the question, what control does the artist retain once their art is out there in the world? How to Paint Clouds is accompanied by an AI video in which an algorithm built from 2000 internet-sourced paintings of clouds teaches a computer to create its own original paintings of clouds. 

“Although there are unimaginable forces at play in developing a cloud, or in creating art, all we are able to look for is another face in the sky, a mirror looking back at us,” the band reflects. “A cloud always looks like something other than a cloud.” 


Absolutely Free Aftertouch 

1. Epilogue (After Touch)
2. How To Paint Clouds
3. Interface
4. Remaining Light
5. Still Life
6. Are They Signs?
7. Clear Blue Sky
8. Morning Sun 

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