Posts Tagged ‘Dylan Baldi’

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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”.

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.

“Does anybody living out there really need me?” is what Cloud Nothings wonder on their new single, “Am I Something,” from their forthcoming album “The Shadow I Remember”. It shows that, even though the ten-year anniversary is approaching for their debut album, not much has changed about the bands’ insecurities and contemplations. “I became familiar with Lu Yang’s work through her exhibit in Cleveland, Ohio at MOCA Cleveland in 2017,” vocalist/guitarist Dylan Baldi noted about the music video in a press release. “I was really drawn to her approach of tying religion into gender and various gendered bodily functions.

The animation style of some of her work is also exactly on my wavelength—like a psychedelic genderless Sims game. Very excited to be able to work with Lu!”

On January 29th, we are reissuing our debut album, The band can’t believe it’s been 10 years since it was originally released! reissuing Turning On for its anniversary. The Shadow I Remember arrives February 26th via Carpark Records. Listen to “Am I Something”. 

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Though musicians make music in relative quarantine all the time, there’s undoubtedly been a different feeling around song writing during the coronavirus lockdown given the sense of claustrophobia that’s being universally experienced at present. It’s a surprise, then, that ‘The Black Hole Understands’ finds Cloud Nothings sounding freer than ever. “When the world shut down in March, making music was the only thing keeping me tethered to any sense of normalcy,” Cloud Nothings frontman and mastermind Dylan Baldi says of the 10-track album that was borne from this period which, Baldi acknowledges, does channel “this early quarantine anxiety and confusion”.

The latest album from this Cleveland group led by Dylan Baldi is a surprise release of summery, hook-filled indie-pop. Rather than the discordant, intense jams of recent Cloud Nothings records, this one features concise, brightly melodic songs with jangly guitars, driving rhythms and breezy melodies juxtaposed with often-melancholy, anxiety-fueled lyrics.

Created entirely over email — Baldi’s skeleton song ideas were sent to drummer Jayson Gerycz before making their way back to the frontman for a final polish — ‘The Black Hole Understands’ is a complete re-calibration of the process behind the making of a Cloud Nothings album. So much of their music is fast and frenetic, often recorded live as they feed off each other’s energy and thrash it out in a room together. Given the manner of its creation, their seventh album, which has been self-released on Bandcamp, feels suitably looser and more melody-focused. “Life won’t always be like this,” Baldi sings on the chorus of ‘The Sound Of Everyone’, coming across like a lifeline to both himself and the listener as we all desperately try to cling on to the idea of another brighter world post-quarantine.

It might be this sense of willing a better situation into existence that makes ‘The Black Hole Understands’ such a vibrant, melody-packed joy. ‘A Silent Reaction’ has a powerful, uplifting ‘90s pop-rock chorus that trades Baldi’s trademark grit and fury into something more soaring, recalling the breeziness of Jeff Tweedy’s Wilco at times. ‘Right On The Edge’, meanwhile, sees Baldi’s vocals follow a perfect, sugary guitar line that ends up at something approaching pop heaven.

Baldi has also described ‘The Black Hole Understands’ as “poppy and also kind of sad, which is more or less my state of mind”. Another new Cloud Nothings album, recorded as a live band just before lockdown, is said to be arriving soon, but this coronavirus-era album will still serve as a moment in time that’s detached from everything that came before and likely everything that’s still yet to come. After all, it’s hard at the moment to imagine a world in which we aren’t all quarantined.

On ‘The Mess Is Permanent’, another of the album’s buzzing pop-rock highlights, Baldi sings: “It’s hard to be in this place when all these walls are coming down.” Though much of lockdown has felt like the walls are closing in, the joyous ‘The Black Hole Understands’ sees Cloud Nothings help us feel like we can bust right through them into a brighter future.

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Cloud Nothings’ “Modern Act” remains uniquely memorable for the sole fact of debuting on November 9th, 2016. Frontman Dylan Baldi claims he simply forgot about the PR timetable of Life Without Soundwhich is how the video went live hours after Donald Trump won the presidential election, promoting an album to be released in the first week of his administration. This honest mistake set the tone for a mild reception like recent tourmates Japandroids, Cloud Nothings were docked as many points for releasing an atypically glossy and optimistic rock record as they were for failing to anticipate January 2017 as the worst possible time for glossy and optimistic rock records. The tunnel-vision approach positioned Cloud Nothings as a trusted source of spiteful and spiky mainstream punk in a less narrative-driven time, but their latest, Last Building Burningproves Baldi isn’t going to get caught failing to read the room again.

Every possible optic of Last Building Burning is directed at writing Life Without Sound out of history, reimagining Cloud Nothings going in an even grittier, grimier direction after their 2014 potboiler Here and Nowhere Else. Life Without Sound’s cover was periwinkle? This one returns to black and white. Randall Dunn plays the same role as Steve Albini and John Congleton, a guy acclaimed for impeccable sonics and ingenious microphone placement who instead tries to make Cloud Nothings sound like they recorded inside a garage with a running car. The previous album lacked an extended freakout like Attack on Memory’s “Wasted Days” or Here and Nowhere Else’s “Pattern Walks,” so not only do they bring that back for Last Building Burningthis one (“Dissolution”) is 11 minutes.

And while no one begrudges whatever happiness, maturity, and stability Baldi has accumulated in life, expressing them as Cloud Nothings songs was, at worst, a misallocation of resources. “Leave Him Now” is a sign that Baldi hasn’t completely given up trying to be topical or the better man this time around: It’s the rare song that urges a woman to ditch the loser without implying that the singer is swooping in for the rescue. Early in the band’s career, Baldi’s voice didn’t have the heft or grain to sound tough when he screamed, and that peevish edge still works to his advantage, making petulant lyrics sound convincing (“I’ll be alone in my shame,” “I wish I could believe in your dream”).

Cloud Nothings are one of the only bands that could potentially sell their isolated drum tracks, but for long stretches ofLife Without SoundI wasn’t sure if drummer Jayson Gerycz was still around. The new album’s opener “On an Edge” doesn’t even bother with the pretense of trying to build suspense or a sonic arc—in essentially trying to cover Yank Crime within three and a half minutes, Gerycz gets to play as many fills in one song as the entirety of the last record. Throughout, he’s the embodiment of Baldi’s promised “bursts of intense, controlled chaos” Gerycz’s snare is EQ’d like a reified action hero punch, and he occasionally plays ahead of the beat, jamming in fills that threaten to throw everything off-course, except that is the course it’s supposed to take, like Russell Westbrook going to the rim, the chip on his shoulder remaining implanted no matter how much contact he makes. No one would call it efficient, but it’s effective.

Cloud Nothings Perform At The Hi Hat

“I’m obsessed with energy at the moment,” Baldi stated in a press release, heavily implying that was not the case last time around. But the suggestion of an adversarial relationship to its predecessor introduces something of a horseshoe theory with Last Building BurningBy setting its course in the equal and opposite direction of Life Without Soundit becomes its evil twin, a still-incomplete picture of Cloud Nothings. Attack on Memoryand Here and Nowhere Else were pulled taut by the band’s warring impulses—Baldi’s trying when Cloud Nothings emulate the Wipers or Hüsker Dü, but the melodies that could’ve made Vagrant Records a lot of money had he been born 15 years earlier come naturally. A lot of times, the latter doesn’t sit entirely well with Baldi and with the exception of “Leave Him Now,” his hooks are almost entirely rhythmic or instrumental—“Echo of the World” with its Trail of Dead-like churn, the doomy drone of “So Right, So Clean.” Yet Last Building Burning feels like a triumphant return because there isn’t as much pressure on it to do or say anything beyond its purely utilitarian aims. It slaps, shreds, and whips ass.

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Last Building Burning is the product of eight days with producer Randall Dunn (Sunn O))), Wolves in the Throne Room, Boris) in Texas studio Sonic Ranch. Clocking in just over half an hour, the eight-song album sees Cloud Nothings capture their onstage appeal with help from Dunn, who Baldi describes as “technically minded without relying on technology to perfect the live sound.” In that, Last Building Burning is a return to Cloud Nothing’s sharpest form – the unhinged, feverish, guitar-heavy sound that they explode with onstage – without their early angst. “It’s not an angry record,” says Baldi. “It’s a very joyous thing for me. And it feels so nice to scream again, especially when you know people in the crowd will be screaming along back at you.”

“So Right So Clean” is the latest song to be taken from the Cloud Nothings album, Last Building Burning, which is due for release on the 19th October 2018 via Wichita Recordings and Carpark Records.

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Cloud Nothings have released “Leave Him Now,” the second single from their upcoming album Last Building Burning, out October 19th via Carpark Records. The track follows “The Echo of the World” and leans more toward the sunnier pop sound last year’s album release “Life Without Sound”, albeit with more angst and thrash. In the song, frontman Dylan Baldi begging a friend to leave an abusive relationship: “You gotta go right now/Or never at all.”

The band has also announced a fall North American tour starting in October;

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“Leave Him Now” is the latest song to be taken from the forthcoming Cloud Nothings album, Last Building Burning, which is due for release on the 19th October 2018 via Wichita Recordings and Carpark Records.

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We are elated to announce the return of Cloud Nothings. Their fifth full-length album, Last Building Burning, is due out October 19th on Carpark Records (US) and Wichita Recordings (UK/EU). The new album is a culmination of the development of frontman Dylan Baldi’s ever-changing sound, following up 2017’s Life Without Sound. It is an extension of the band’s live performances, capturing the frenetic energy that’s characteristic of their shows and infusing the jagged unpredictability of guitars.

Last Building Burning are available on the Carpark/Wichita shops “I’m obsessed with the idea of energy at the moment,” Baldi says about the making of Last Burning Building. “That’s how I thought of this record: seven short, and one long, bursts of intense, controlled chaos. I wanted to make songs that come across in a way that can actually be felt.”

“The Echo of the World” is taken from Cloud Nothings’ forthcoming album, “Last Building Burning,” due out October . Cleveland’s finest indie rock band Cloud Nothing are planning their return to the UK. Developed out of singer / song writer Dylan Baldi’s solo basement studio recording project, he leads a band that also includes drummer Jayson Gerycz, guitarist Chris Brown and TJ Duke on bass.

Baldi started out by recording at his parent’s basement in 2009 using GarageBand and releasing his material through various fake profiles on MySpace, all of which directed listeners back to his work. Amongst the fake bands, a profile under the name Cloud Nothings proved to be one of the most popular which received an invite for gigs in New York prompting Baldi to seek out real members.

Now an actual band, they began to rise in popularity and soon signed to independent label Bridgetown Records through which they released the eight track EP Turning On which features the single Hey Cool Kid. They released their eponymously titled debut album in 2011 which thrilled critics,  Their incredible back catalogue also includes the albums Attack On Memory plus Here And Nowhere Else .

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Unlike most peers who refuse to outgrow the simplicity of their hooky riffage, Dylan Baldi’s songwriting has continued to bloom without softening a thing. New album “Life Without Sound” is every bit as revelatory as 2012’s more ambitious and abrasive release Attack on Memory, yet he’s flirting with arena-rock territory.

This is not to say the Ohio band doesn’t still love harsh guitar riffs and introspective lyrics, and on their latest single, “Enter Entirely,” Dylan Baldi reflects on what it’s like to watch your life pass you by. Instead of moving forward, Baldi finds himself frozen in time, isolated and contemplating what steps he can take to be the person he wants to be: “There’s someone I would like to be if I could be, but the path is frightening,” Baldi raspily sings. But he also admits to self-sabotaging along the way with “a bottle of wine,” and as the chorus hits, you can feel Baldi settle back into himself (“Moving on but I still feel it, you’re just a light in me now”). He surrounds his rumination with crashing guitars that confidently pay homage to Pavement.

That woozy, lonely, and bitter feeling at the end of every late-night walk home, when you realize there’s nowhere else in the world you’d rather be than yesterday. “Moving on but I still feel it/ You’re just a light in me now”

 Dylan Baldi puts things into perspective with another must-squeeze anthem that wraps our love-torn wounds with gauze and distortion. Once more, he throws his weight into repetition, bludgeoning our bruises until they’re blistered and screeching. This one hurts.

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Cloud Nothings have announced the follow-up to their 2014 album “Here and Nowhere Else” and last year’s Wavves collaboration “No Life For Me Without Sound” is out January 27th via Carpark Wichita Recordings. The announcement comes with a new single called “Modern Act” , along with the album’s artwork, tracklist, and the band’s forthcoming tour dates.

The album was recorded with producer John Goodmanson (Sleater-Kinney, Death Cab for Cutie) in El Paso earlier this year. Dylan Baldi said in a statement:

Generally, it seems like my work has been about finding my place in the world. But there was a point in which I realized that you can be missing something important in your life, a part you didn’t realize you were missing until it’s there—hence the title. This record is like my version of new age music. It’s supposed to be inspiring.

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“Enter Entirely” is taken from Cloud Nothings’ forthcoming album “Life Without Sound.” Out January 27th, 2017 on Carpark Records.