On their third full-length, Cleveland-bred outfit 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 'fuck everything.' I just sat down and played until I
found something that I like, because I was finally in a position to do
Utilizing every possible opportunity to write while on the road for 18
consecutive months following the release of 2012's 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.