CLOUD NOTHINGS – ” Turning On ” 10th Anniversary Edition

Posted: January 29, 2021 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
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It’s been 10 years since the release of “Turning On”, Cloud Nothings’ debut album. Singer-songwriter Dylan Baldi was just 18 years old when he began recording the album, creating each track in his parents’ basement in Cleveland, Ohio. Over one winter, Baldi produced an album of taut, lo-fi guitar-pop songs, playing each instrument himself. His music gained traction in the increasingly popular music blog circuit, allowing Baldi to book his first shows in new places, like New York City. He gathered a band together to play live, and Cloud Nothings were on their way. The band has accomplished a great deal since “Turning On”, signing to Carpark Records, releasing seven albums, and headlining numerous international tours. Yet, their debut isn’t dusted over in the band’s history. “Turning On” still remains the stripped-back core of Cloud Nothings style: raw and grungy, filled with catchy earworms that are surprisingly pop. The album carries all the stored potential of someone ready to venture off into the world, a feeling that bursts with energy even 10 years later.

All the tracks on “Turning On” are eruptive and restless, its lo-fi quality embodying the desperate need to record an idea by any means necessary. Songs like Hey Cool Kid encapsulate Baldi’s talent for churning, hook-filled guitar. The vocals on songs like “Can’t Stay Awake” are distorted, with scattered lyrics that echo the angst of a teenage diary. As a whole, the album delivers dissonance and edge, without sacrificing the authentic romanticism of someone who is on the verge of something big and doesn’t know it yet.

A necessary album to fully understand the world of Cloud Nothings, “Turning On” is a welcome return to the band’s origins before the release of their eighth album, “The Shadow I Remember”.

Uncut’s John Robinson awarded “Turning On” 4 stars saying the music was “tuneful, witty and sounds fantastic”. Spin ‘s Josh Modell wrote that “Baldi has a melodic knack that approaches Guided By Voices at their prime”.

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