Monday, January 31, 2011

Cloud Nothings Breaks From Lo-Fi

Dylan BaldiNo one can ever call Ohio's Dylan Baldi a slacker. As a teenager, he wrote and recorded some catchy, lo-fi songs in his parents’ basement.

Admittedly, the lo-fi sound was an accident. According to his indie label, Carpark Records, Baldi was never striving for a lo-fi sound. The sound was created on a “simple computer and crappy microphone." That's the way they turned out.

Accident or not, the songs were well received and smartly promoted online. But online success is seldom enough. In order to get songs in front of people, Baldi needed to hit the road. He needed a band. And he needed a little bit of luck.

To do it, Baldi recruited Joe Boyer (guitar) TJ Duke (bass) and Jayson Gerycz (drums). Then they picked up opening gigs wherever they could find them. If luck can be described as the bands you open for, Baldi found it with Best Coast and Wavves.

Last year, the band was signed by Carpark Records, which quickly put out a few 7-inch singles and a massive 14-track LP filled with power pop-driven murkiness that sets it apart. Somehow, in between it all, Baldi also found time to record a new CD with Baltimore-based producer Chester Gwazda (Future Islands, Dan Deacon).

Cloud Nothings is a self-titled restart to the band Baldi built.

You might say the eponymously titled Cloud Nothings, released in January, is Cloud Nothings' first LP. This time around, Baldi dropped the simple computer and crappy microphone to create a different kind of sound. The lo-fi charm that caught everyone's interest is now mixed in with high velocity, exuberant melodies, and chiming guitar hooks for a good effect.

Should Have is an easy favorite with its choppy guitar despite the oddly twisted video. But it's the album’s Forget You All The Time that proves there is still much to love as the talented musician transitions from the basement to the studio. You can hear it because while he was always confident on guitar, he seems much more confident with his vocals now.

In addition to Forget You All the Time and Understand At All, give the super short Hearbeat, clocking in at just over a minute, a spin for its almost chorus-only arrangement. Not Important and Nothing's Wrong also give a glimpse of Baldi’s real songwriting talent. I have every reason to believe he's just scratched the surface.

Cloud Nothings Hooks Up With 3.5 On The Liquid Hip Richter Scale.

Cloud Nothings’ self-titled CD includes 11 songs in less than half an hour. It's ridiculously short, but a good trip nonetheless. The band embarks on a European tour in mid February and returns in March to open their U.S. tour in Athens, Georgia.

You can find Cloud Nothings on iTunes. On Amazon, Cloud Nothings is available on CD or as MP3 downloads. You can also keep up with the band on Facebook.
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