Release Date: Jan 25, 2011
Record label: Carpark Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Indie Rock, Lo-Fi, Noise Pop, Noise-Rock
Dylan Baldi has some mighty keen instincts. When given the opportunity to open for Woods and Real Estate during his college finals, the 18-year-old freshman decided to drop out of school and springboard his basement lo-fi project out of its infancy. The decision has proved a sound one. Cloud Nothings’ self-titled debut displays Baldi’s feral chops in natural light.
While young Dylan Baldi - aka Cloud Nothings - may seem to fit into the presently over-saturated childish guitar noise bracket, it's the sheer joie de vivre of his power-pop centric debut that could well mark it as one of this year's finest discoveries. As soon as the drum beat collides into the shreds of radio stained guitars on ‘Understand At All’, it’s plain to see that pondering is not a part of Baldi's remit. A brief interlude from the force of the melodic bass allows him to vocally ache his sorrows away, sounding as much the backpacked boy extra of Glee exorcising his faux angst as humanly possible.
Last Fall, Dylan Baldi-- the young, bespectacled face and brains behind Cleveland power-pop outfit Cloud Nothings-- was gearing up for two simultaneous releases: a delicious new 7" single and a wide-release compilation that wrangled together nearly every other hook he had burned to cassette, vinyl, or CD-R in the year before. While both shared remarkably strong songwriting, said single was recorded without much of the fuzz and distortion that enveloped his work up until that point. The difference was huge.
“I get old so fast,” Dylan Baldi sings at one point on Cloud Nothings. It makes sense that he’s feeling the change from adolescence to adulthood particularly strongly: Baldi has been so prolific in such a short time, cranking out several EPs and an album’s worth of music within a couple of years, that it’s easy to forget that this is his official debut album. These tracks are more polished than what came before, but only to a point; unlike some lo-fi bands who graduated to unrecognizably slick full-fledged albums, Baldi cleans up Cloud Nothings' act only enough to get his songs across more clearly.
This January hype-blast seems unique to independent pop music. Unlike, say, the film industry, which famously uses the beginning of the year as a dumping ground, the music industry’s prepped for everyone who comes out of list-frenzy not gorged but whetted. I know, guys: from here, the year looks like a cornucopia of leaks scattering well into March, and it probably doesn’t matter that a lot of groups, like Cleveland’s Cloud Nothings, are woefully out-of-season, because we music listeners want ‘staying power.’ Right? Nice headphones double as earmuffs.
Coming into my musical existence, I immediately fell in love with strong male singer-songwriters like Elvis Costello, John Mellencamp, Billy Bragg, and Neil Diamond. Still holding tight to my copy of Hot August Night, I've always searched far and wide for more of the same as I've continued my rich musical life. While I may not have found a legend this time around, Cloud Nothings, the stage name for Cleveland teenager Dylan Baldi, offers up a dose of lo-fi pop that instills a microscopic fragment of magic those strong-willed musical deities first forged.
A little more than a year ago, Cloud Nothings front man Dylan Baldi was cranking out a steady stream of effortless power pop gems that reeked of classic suburban boredom and earnest lo-fidelity. On Cloud Nothings’ new self-titled release, Baldi finds himself with the double-edged resources of a studio, hindsight and ambition. The result, not surprisingly, is a sound that is different and much clearer.
Well, the inevitable happened. Cloud Nothings garnered a bunch of internet buzz last year due to the really wonderful lo-fi pop EP, Turning On—oh, and also due to the fact that “band” was really just 19-year-old Clevelandite Dylan Baldi recording himself in his parents’ basement. The buzz led him to put a touring band together, collect the original EP and some other singles on a somewhat lopsided extended extended player, also called Turning On, and go into a real life studio to record a proper debut for Carpark Records.
Cloud Nothings is the project of a young Ohioan named Dylan Baldi, who's clearly a bit of a renaissance man of lo-fi: he writes and records his spunky, punky pop on his own, recruiting a band for touring, and had released an album – on cassette, indie purists – before his teens were out. What's more, a dormant MySpace account shows him to have a nice line in lambent piano instrumentals, too. This fuzzily recorded album shows he's got a deep well of hooks to plunder, and he knows when to stop.
Cloud Nothings Cloud Nothings is a one-man studio band: 19-year-old Dylan Baldi, the songwriter whose frantic, fuzz-toned but ever-tuneful home recordings, from a suburban basement, were discovered online. He’s a throwback to the melodic early-1980s punk-pop of bands like the Replacements, with ….
Just over a year ago, 19-year-old [b]Dylan Baldi[/b] was studying sax and audio recording in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. Unlike most first year students cry-wanking over Facebook or smoking crystal meth through the arsehole of a cat, Dylan did more with his time out. He recorded a succession of singles and EPs in his parents’ basement through a single mic and home computer that would form a rough demo album in 2010’s [b]‘Turning On’[/b].Along with everything else last year that was branded ‘lo-fi’ or ‘scuzzy’, the blogosphere tossed itself dry over the one-man band.
Young Cleveland artist reveals a debut moulded in the power-pop tradition. Alex Denney 2011 The solo project of 18-year-old Cleveland resident Dylan Baldi, Cloud Nothings fairly rained down on 2010 with a series of super-tight EPs in the best power-pop tradition. That material was gathered for a compilation LP, Turning On, released in October, but this is the debut proper, shifting focus from the teenage songwriter’s parental home to a studio in Baltimore, with Dan Deacon and Future Islands producer Chester Gwazda on board.