Why can’t we let it go?
Singer, producer, and elementary school teacher Nils Deweer, alias Johnson McCloud, ignites the question of purpose, understanding, and passion in 2021 Europe with The War Is Over. Deweer, formerly of the psychedelic underground giant Blue Angel Lounge, recorded his seventh album himself with his band Johnson McCloud & The Doobies.
Created during the pandemic, the album deals with the special circumstances and requirements of this time. During lockdown restrictions, Deweer had the opportunity to think about himself, his environment, interpersonal relationships and media self-portrayal to process these impressions on The War Is Over.
“In this regard, the title of the album can be interpreted in different ways,” says Deweer. “On the one hand, this exudes euphoria, an anticipation of a new start together after the time of the Corona-related, cultural standstill. On the other hand, the exclamation can also be interpreted in terms of resignation or hopelessness. Like the current situation, the album fluctuates back and forth between both emotional states, but without wanting to commit itself entirely.”
The album opens with the wistful Silent Fall, channeling the earnestness of Big Country. The track is followed by Unknown Night, rife with dreamy hooks and mid-90s reverie, reminiscent of The Lightning Seeds meets early Radiohead. Bottom Line takes the tempo to a slower-paced ballad, highlighted with unusual psychedelic elements; The Flawless and Nice takes a minimal approach, focusing on a gorgeous call and response layer vocal. Let Me Sleep continues this trend, really drawing from the Ian McCulloch school of songwriting here. This is repeated in The War Is Over, taking inspiration from the restrictions of Covid as well as The Velvet Underground and Lush: a heartfelt, straightforward ballad that packs a wallop of emotion. Bedhead verges more into early Britpop territory, with psychedelic guitar elements and emotive singing; the album closes with the expansive, optimistic beauty of Endless Summer, sounding at times like a lost Sonic Youth track.
Remixing and mastering for the album were done by Eroc (Grobschnitt). A documentary was filmed about the creative process in creating the album, which was featured in Post-Punk.com in June of 2021.
The War is Over is out now. Listen below:
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