Cloud Nothings was founded in a Cleveland basement, the one-man recording project of Dylan Baldi, an unassuming, then 18-year-old student of song with a breathtaking ear for melody. Prolific from the start, Baldi's early work was rough but immediate: crudely recorded, spring-loaded spasms of Buzzcocks-informed pop that quickly found an online following among the lo-fi-inclined. When an opportunity presented itself to open a small show in Brooklyn, Baldi abandoned a still-in-progress final project to be there. The gamble paid off he's been touring ever since, using every available break to write and record more.
On their third full-length, Cloud Nothings give joy a hard, sharp edge. "I was feeling pretty good about everything so I just made stuff that made me happy," says founding member and mild-mannered chief songwriter Dylan Baldi of Here and Nowhere Else. "I had nothing to be angry about really so the approach was more positive and less 'screw everything.' I just sat down and played until I found something that I like, because I was finally in a position to do that."
Utilizing every possible opportunity to write while on the road for 18 consecutive months following the release of 2012s Attack on Memory, Baldi presented an album's worth of new material to his bandmates with just days before they'd enter the studio with esteemed producer John Congleton. "I'm pretty sure every song was written in a different country," he says. "It's the product of only having a couple of minutes here and there." But Cloud Nothings would enjoy a full week with Congleton at Water Music in Hoboken, New Jersey, followed by three days of mixing at his own studio in Dallas shortly thereafter. The result is Cloud Nothings, refined: impossibly melodic, white-knuckle noise-rock that shimmers with sumptuous detail, from Baldi's lone, corkscrewing guitar to his dramatically improved singing to bassist TJ Duke's piledriving bass lines and drummer Jayson Gerycz's volcanic fills.
"It's more subtle," says Baldi. "It's not just an in-your-face rock record. There's more going on. You can listen to a song 20 times and still hear different little things in there that you didn't notice before. Every time I listen I notice something that I didn't even realize we did."
It's yet another staggering show of a progress from a songwriter and band still coming into their own.
Clazel Theater (View)
127 N. Main Street
Bowling Green, OH 43402