The genre tag “quiet storm” refers to emotive R&B ballads across eras. Named after a Smokey Robinson song, quiet storm emerged as a popular radio format in the ’70s and later grew to encapsulate the neo-soul boom of the ’90s. A playlist that segued from Luther Vandross into Sade would be peak quiet storm.
Clever Girls’ music sounds nothing like quiet storm.
But it’s a shame the term already refers to something so specific. Without the historical baggage, “quiet storm” would be a perfect descriptor for this shoegazing indie-rock band’s new song “Remember Pluto.” Emotions run high, guitars get turbulent, but the volume knob never turns above a 6. Stormy as hell – the opening line even makes the weather metaphor explicit: “I️’ve been the tornado” – but in a mellow way. Imagine if Mazzy Star covered Nirvana, or if some sound engineer turned the vocals up and guitars down on My Bloody Valentine.
Clever Girls recorded our favorite song of 2018, so needless to say expectations were high for their follow up. “Remember Pluto” delivers. Watch below, then check out an amusing “Recipe for ‘Remember Pluto'” fellow songwriter Abbie Morin illustrated for The Talkhouse.