Cloud Nothings (formed 2009)
Cloud Nothings is a rock band whose members are Dylan Baldi, TJ Duke and Jayson Gerycz.
Formation: Originally a solo project with a live band, Cloud Nothings was formed by Baldi while he was studying at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. He recorded music at his parents home in Ohio at weekends and featured the songs on Myspace under a series of fake band names. He was eventually asked to open for Woods and Real Estate in New York by promoter Todd Patrick, and he subsequently enlisted some band members and left university.
Musical career: Cloud Nothings signed to Bridgetown Records for first release, 'Turning On' EP. It was expanded into a full album in 2010 when Baldi signed to Carpark Records. The self-titled album was released in 2011, produced by Chester Gwazda. The following year saw the release of 'Attack On Memory' which became Cloud Nothings' first release as a band rather than a soloist. They went on tour in Europe and later appeared at Fuji Rock Festival, Pitchfork Festival and Coachella Music Festival. John Congleton produced fourth album 'Here and Nowhere Else', released in 2014 and including single 'I'm Not Part of Me'.
Dom Gourlay's Top Albums of 2014
10) Soft Walls - No Time
Multi-talented musician-cum-producer Dan Reeves divides his time playing in several bands with running a record label. This effort, his second as Soft Walls ranks as his finest collection to date. Although heralded as one of new psychedelia's finest releases, 'No Time' owes as much to Phil Spector and Suicide as it does anything else, and sounds all the more accomplished for it.
9) Temples - Sun Structures
Having spent the best part of two years touring the songs that would eventually go onto become 'Sun Structures', it was perhaps somewhat inevitable that the album would be every bit as good as we'd hoped. What happens next will be key to Temples long-term future, but for now 'Sun Structures' is a fitting document of the band's inaugural stages.
8) Cheatahs - Cheatahs
This cosmopolitan four-piece might display their influences quite brazenly. However, this debut bears all the hallmarks of a classic. Referencing the likes of My Bloody Valentine, Swervedriver and Teenage Fanclub at regular intervals yet retaining a distinctive edge all the same, 'Cheatahs' is the sound of a band discovering an identity and using it to their advantage.
Continue reading: Dom Gourlay's Top Albums Of 2014
This year's festival season may have seen its disasters, but Made In America closed the summer of 2013 with a bang!
The Budweiser Made in America Festival 2013 was jampacked with highlights from some of the most iconic artists of the age, as well as some of the best up-and-coming stars and the hidden talent you'd be a fool to have missed.
Taking place over August 31st and September 1st in Philadelphia, the Saturday kicked things off with some impressive acts. Feisty California sisters Haim performed early on in the afternoon with a thoroughly entertaining set, in terms of both music and audience interaction, on the Liberty Stage where other must-see artists such as Deadmau5, 2 Chainz and triple BRIT winning Emeli Sande also thrilled the crowd. The Freedom Stage saw the likes of Rudimental further establish their place in the hearts of a large proportion of festival goers, while the Skate Park Stage saw much smaller bands such as Ohio group Cloud Nothings and New Jersey D&B duo Brick & Mortar get the ultimate chance to showcase their talents. The main Rocky Stage was, of course, the real crowd bringer, with Beyonce headlining and Phoenix and Imagine Dragons delivering the uttermost electrifying rock shows of the night.
In my younger and more vulnerable years a hippie gave me some advice that I've been turning over in my mind ever since.
"Whenever you feel you need the toilet at a festival," he told me, "just remember that the ones inside the arena get cleaned right after 11:30 so try your best to bake it until then."
And thus begins my memory of festivals: endless fields strewn with discarded baggies and cardboard cups. Herds of pink-coiffed punks and dreadlocked crusties impaled with a thousand miniature stainless steel objects, all bogling together outside a legal highs tent shaking in the wind. My own innumerable psychological breakdowns inside hot portaloos of a harrowing state, the image of which has been indelibly tattooed onto my consciousness. All this to the backdrop of countless bands whom I have varied recollection of actually seeing. In this way, just as remembrance and the fiction consumed amalgamates into one shapeless blob, so do the festivals of my youth all fuse into one long, undying gestalt festival in my mind.
Continue reading: Visions Festival 2013 Review
If there's one thing native Clevelander Dylan Baldi can never be accused of him resting on laurels. For someone who initially started making music as an excuse to drop out of University, the subsequent wave of critical acclaim coupled with a prolific spate of writing and recording has seen his Cloud Nothings alter ego become bonafide contenders in swapping underground cult status for potential mainstream success.
Continue reading: Cloud Nothings, Attack On Memory Album Review
While the word 'progressive' when used in the context of rock and roll can sometimes take an altogether worthy, self-indulgent kind of meaning, for nineteen-year-old Cleveland resident Dylan Baldi it's an ample representation of his personal development as both a songwriter and arranger. Despite having been making music designed for public consumption little over a year, his aural scribblings under the Cloud Nothings moniker have gone from being the hidden secret of the bedsit underground to a genuine contender for one of 2011's albums of the year, which in a lo-fi scene burgeoning with creativity these past eighteen months or so, is no mean feat.
Continue reading: Cloud Nothings, Cloud Nothings Album Review
While there will always be the Luddite preconception that music should follow the art form of progression, and therefore be about creating something audacious and otherworldly, its always healthy to go back to basics every once in a while. That's why this year has seen an avalanche of artists from both sides of the Atlantic whose mindset shares a similar viewpoint with the likes of Best Coast, Wavves, Spectrals and Dum Dum Girls all making steady inroads thanks to a combination of great records and formidable live performances.
The latest addition to that impressive list of low budget, lo-fi recording operators is nineteen-year-old Dylan Baldi, aka the creative force behind Cloud Nothings. While the live show involves a traditional four-piece band, the majority of these recordings actually took place as a solo project in Baldi's Cleveland home base, and while his obvious love of US college rock and mid-1980s UK underground guitar bands shines through, there's a wave of excitement going on throughout 'Turning On''s thirteen pieces that no amount of technical muso expertise could dream of replicating.
Essentially a compilation bringing together Baldi and Cloud Nothings earliest recordings, most of these songs having previously appeared on numerous cassette-only and limited edition seven-inch releases. 'Turning On' could be described as a celebration of adolescence in the same as Nathan Williams first Wavves long player epitomised the despair of boredom as a daytime occupation. Opener 'Can't Stay Awake' mixes the fervour of an infant Weezer with the good time ramshackle stylings of The Feelies, while the four chords, foot to the floor buzzpop of 'Old Street' and 'My Little Raygun' are probably what the Buzzcocks would have sounded like had they formed in 21st Century Ohio rather than 1970s Manchester.
Elsewhere, Baldi's admiration for all things lo-fi rises to the fore, particularly on the record's title track and probably his best-known song to date. Handclaps, "bah bah bah"'s punctuating the chorus and even the odd whistle a la 'Let's Go Surfing' pop up at random intervals throughout the record, with 'Real Thing' echoing Swell Maps chaotic splendour and 'Hey Cool Kid' giving both The Lilys and Appleseed Cast a run for their money in the oh-so-laidback stakes.
Although 'Turning On' is only meant to be a taster for Cloud Nothings self-titled debut album proper, due out in January of next year, it's still an outstanding representation and more than worthwhile document of the band's career to date, with the prospects looking excitingly rosy for the future.