CLOUD NOTHINGS – ” The Shadow I Remember “

Posted: January 5, 2021 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Our fully quarantine-recorded album came out, called “The Black Hole Understands” It’s me on instruments with strings and singing, Jayson on drums. it is poppy and sort of sad. Cloud Nothings released The Black Hole Understands this summer, a remotely assembled album that followed the free-jazz spirals of frontman Dylan Baldi and drummer Jayson Gerycz in the spring. Then, in December, they shared the Bandcamp-exclusive “Life Is Only One Event”. Soon, they’ll deliver the all-new “The Shadow I Remember” which was produced by Steve Albini, who helmed 2012’s classic Attack on Memory

Part of the proceeds from this will be going to play on Philly and the Rainey institute (in Cleveland), two organizations dedicated to helping provide arts education in areas of Philladelphia and Cleveland where its not generally easy to access.

Cloud Nothings dropped a new song “The Spirit Of,” and it’s the latest glimpse of their forthcoming album The Shadow I Remember, out on February 26th via Carpark Records. “The Spirit Of,” the follow-up single to “Am I Something?,” is a fast-paced track propelled by ascendent guitars, and Dylan Baldi’s punk vocals reach a mighty peak by the end. We are also reissuing our debut album “Turning On” – can’t believe it’s been 10 years since it was originally released! 

Another throwback was Baldi’s return to constant song writing à la the early solo days, which led to the nearly 30 demos that became the 11 songs on “The Shadow I Remember”. Instead of sticking to a tried-but-true formula, his song writing stretched out while digging deeper into his melodic talents. “I felt like I was locked in a character,” Baldi says of becoming a reliable supplier of heavy, hook-filled rock songs. “I felt like I was playing a role and not myself. I really didn’t like that role.” More frequent writing led to the freedom in form heard on The Shadow I Remember. What he can’t do alone is get loud and play noisily, which is exactly what happened when the entire band — bassist TJ Duke, guitarist Chris Brown, and drummer Jayson Gerycz—convened.

The band had more fun in the studio than they’ve had in years, playing in their signature, pulverizing way, while also trying new things. The absurdly catchy “Nothing Without You” includes a first for the band: Macie Stewart of Ohmme contributes guest vocals. Elsewhere, celebrated electronic composer Brett Naucke adds subtle synthesizer parts.

The songs are kept trim, mostly around the three-minute mark, while being gleefully overstuffed. Almost every musical part turns into at least two parts, with guitar and drums opening up and the bass switching gears. “That’s the goal — I want the three-minute song to be an epic,” Baldi says. “That’s the short version of the longass jam.”

Lyrically, Baldi delivers an aching exploration of tortured existence, punishing self-doubt, and the familiar pangs of oppressive mystery. “Am I Something” Baldi screams on the song of the same name. “Does anybody living out there really need me?”, It’s a heart breaking admission of existential confusion, delivered hoarsely, with an instantly relatable melody. “Is this the end/ of the life I’ve known?” he asks on lead single and album opener “Oslo.” “Am I older now/ or am I just another age?” Despite the questioning lyrics, the band plays with more assurance and joy than ever before. The Shadow I Remember announces Cloud Nothings’ second decade and it sounds like a new beginning.

The Shadow I Remember is the hugely triumphant return of Cloud Nothings. It’s pretty raw, but singer-songwriter Dylan Baldi’s ability to write a banger has arguably never been as clear. Melodic whilst still full of grit.

“The Spirit Of” is taken from Cloud Nothings’ forthcoming album “The Shadow I Remember”, out February 26th, 2021.

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