Cloud Nothings

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Cloud Nothings
Cloud Nothings play MTV's Hive's live in Boston
Cloud Nothings play MTV's Hive's live in Boston
Background information
OriginCleveland, Ohio, United States
Genres
Years active2009 (2009)–present[2]
LabelsCarpark, Wichita, Ghost Ramp[3]
Websitecloudnothings.com
MembersDylan Baldi
TJ Duke
Jayson Gerycz
Chris Brown
Past membersJoe Boyer

Cloud Nothings is an American indie rock band from Cleveland, Ohio, founded by singer-songwriter Dylan Baldi. It currently consists of lead singer and guitarist Dylan Baldi, drummer Jayson Gerycz, bassist TJ Duke, and guitarist Chris Brown.

Beginning in 2009, the band originally started as a solo project, with Baldi recording both vocals and instrumentals in his parents' basement, although he performed live with a full band.[4] The band is signed to Washington, D.C.-based Carpark Records. Their fourth LP Here and Nowhere Else was released on April 1, 2014. Cloud Nothings' album Life Without Sound was released on January 27, 2017. This was followed by Last Building Burning, released on October 19, 2018, and later by The Black Hole Understands, released on July 3, 2020.

History[edit]

Formation (2009)[edit]

In 2009, Baldi spent his first semester as a freshman at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, with a major in music/audio recording technology. During weekends, Baldi returned to his parents' basement in Westlake, Ohio, to record music using GarageBand.[5] He later created several fake bands, each with their own Myspace page on which Baldi featured his original music. Baldi created the music "for personal enjoyment, to see if I could write a song that was better than the last song I wrote."[2] One of the fake bands Baldi created was Cloud Nothings. Underground rock promoter Todd Patrick, from New York City, invited the band to perform at Market Hotel in Brooklyn, New York, opening for the bands Woods and Real Estate. The invitation prompted Baldi to gather a band for the performance in December 2009. Realizing the potential success of the band, Baldi dropped out of college. He wrote an e-mail to his parents that explained his decision to work in music full-time. "They were cool with it," explained Baldi. "They trusted me. They've been supportive of me."[6]

Turning On (2010)[edit]

Cloud Nothings' music caught the attention of Kevin Greenspan at Bridgetown Records who offered to release the 8 song EP Turning On featuring the single "Hey Cool Kid". A month later Speaker Tree Records released a vinyl edition of Turning On with an additional track (Strummin'). Carpark Records signed Cloud Nothings as a one-man band in 2010 and released an expanded Turning On now featuring 13 songs. 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". The single "Didn't You" was featured in the 2013 film "Chlorine".

Cloud Nothings (2011)[edit]

Following American and European tours Baldi worked with producer Chester Gwazda in his Baltimore studio and released Cloud Nothings in January 2011.[7] The album received favorable reviews. Pitchfork Media's David Bevan gave the self-titled album a 7.9 out of 10, writing "the result is another fantastic step forward"[8] Meanwhile, NME's Thomas Ward rated the album with a 7 out of 10. Cloud Nothings is "a fun, frenetic and crisp debut that is more resplendent than his lo-fi scuzz."[9] Under The Radar's Frank Valish wrote "Baldi's songs somehow manage to mix punk rock energy with pure pop tunefulness". Mischa Pearlman of Alternative Press awarded the album 4 stars describing the music as "upbeat rock 'n' roll, full of joyous reckless abandon and youthful exuberance".

Attack on Memory (2012–2013)[edit]

The band's third album, Attack on Memory, was released in January 2012.[10][11] Recorded with producer/engineer Steve Albini at Electrical Audio. It was the first outing to feature the live lineup and the first album in 2012 to receive "Best New Music" status on Pitchfork.com.[12] It received a score of 8.6 and was ranked No. 22 on their Album of the Year list for 2012. Rolling Stone's Jon Dolan awarded the album 3 1/2 stars and selected Cloud Nothings as the "Band to Watch". Spin Magazine rated it 9/10 and "Attack on Memory" reached No. 2 on the CMJ Radio charts. The band toured Europe, performed at the Fuji Rock Festival (Japan), Pitchfork Festival and made their debut television appearance on the Jimmy Fallon Show performing the single "Stay Useless". The band continued to tour throughout most of 2013 including Europe, Israel, Australia (Laneway Festival) and an appearance at the Coachella Music Festival.

Here And Nowhere Else and No Life for Me (2014–2015)[edit]

Their fourth album, Here and Nowhere Else was recorded with producer John Congleton at Water Music Studios and released April 1, 2014 on Carpark Records. The same day, they released the album's first single, "I'm Not Part of Me." and its accompanying video. The album was given an 8.7 out of 10 on Pitchfork and titled "Best New Music". Here and Nowhere Else reached No. 2 on the CMJ Radio charts and was favorably reviewed in a wide variety of music publications including Rolling Stone (3 1/2 stars) and Spin (8/10). Cloud Nothings again toured Europe, Australia, Japan and performed at a number of festivals including Bonnaroo, Pitchfork and the 2015 Coachella Music Festival. The single "I'm Not Part of Me" is featured on the 2015 Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5 soundtrack and in the 2016 film Almost Friends.

No Life for Me an album by Wavves and Cloud Nothings was released in Europe on June 28, 2015 and worldwide on June 29, 2015.[13]

Life Without Sound (2016–2017)[edit]

Their fifth album, Life Without Sound, was released on January 27, 2017, once again through Carpark Records.[14] The album was engineered/produced/mixed by John Goodmanson (Deathcab for Cutie, Nada Surf, Sleater-Kinney) at Sonic Ranch in El Paso, TX. With the announcement came the release of the album's first single, "Modern Act," which premiered on Pitchfork.[15] Upon its release "Uncut" rates it 8/10 and praises it as "thrilling... Baldi successfully develops his own take on the merger of power pop and hardcore brawn...without sacrificing any of his irrepressible energy, or his enviable knack for hooks". "Alternative Press" (AP) awards it 4 1/2 stars and writes, "they sound bolder than ever, achieving a new peak...rife with memorable hooks and earworms – and the substance to make them meaningful". Guitarist, Chris Brown (Total Babes) joined the band as Cloud Nothings toured America, Europe and Asia (Japan, China, Singapore) over the first half of 2017. The band played a variety of dates throughout the summer including the Panorama and Lollapalooza Music Festivals. The band completed an autumn tour of North America supporting Japandroids and toured Australia in February. "Modern Act" appears in season 5/episode 12 of the CW series "The Originals". "Internal World" is featured in season 2/episode 7 of The Netflix series "13 Reasons Why".

Last Building Burning (2018–2019)[edit]

Their sixth studio album, entitled Last Building Burning, was released on October 19, 2018 on Carpark Records. The album was recorded at Sonic Ranch, and was produced by Randall Dunn. A new song/video, "The Echo of the World," premiered on August 13. Following its release Under the Radar rated the album 8/10, stating "...Cloud Nothings have never been better." The Line of Best Fit rated the album 9/10, saying "Baldi and his conspirators have created something fantastic here – easily matching the scope and ambition of artists across the musical spectrum. They always seemed to be on the cusp of greatness, and Last Building Burning is their first step over that threshold."[16] Pitchfork rated it 7.6, and singled out the track "Leave Him Now" as "Cloud Nothings at their best: direct, visceral, vulnerable. It hits in the gut and rings in the head, striking that golden ratio of ferocity and tunefulness that this band does best."[17] The band completed a 2018–19 world tour of North and South America, Asia and Europe including an appearance at the Bol Festival in Moscow. An autumn tour with Cursive (band) and the Appleseed Cast took place from November through January 2020. The band has recorded a new album at Electric Audio Studios in Chicago with engineer/producer Steve Albini.

The Black Hole Understands (2020)[edit]

About a month into quarantine, Dylan Baldi and Jayson Gerycz started sending files back and forth, with guitars, bass and vocals recorded in Philadelphia while drums and mixing happened in Cleveland. The Black Hole Understands was self-released July 3, 2020 on Bandcamp. Pitchfork rated it 7.5 stating "Despite being recorded in an era of unthinkable instability, it is the most assuredly melodic Cloud Nothings has sounded in years" and "Backed by gleaming harmonies, Cloud Nothings make the dulled ennui of everyday life sound like an escapist fantasy".[18] NME awarded the album four stars saying "It might be this sense of willing a better situation into existence that makes The Black Hole Understands such a vibrant, melody-packed joy".[19]

Members[edit]

Current members[edit]

  • Dylan Baldi – lead vocals, guitar (2009–present)
  • TJ Duke – bass, backing vocals (2010–present)
  • Jayson Gerycz – drums (2010–present)
  • Chris Brown – lead guitar, keyboards, backing vocals (2016–present)

Former members[edit]

  • Joe Boyer – lead guitar, backing vocals (2010–2013)

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

List of albums, with selected chart positions
Title Album details Peak chart positions
US
[20]
US
Indie

[21]
BEL
(FL)

[22]
BEL
(WA)

[23]
Turning On
  • Released: October 12, 2010
  • Label: Carpark
Cloud Nothings
  • Released: January 24, 2011[24]
  • Label: Carpark
Attack on Memory
  • Released: January 24, 2012
  • Label: Carpark, Wichita
121 21
Here and Nowhere Else
  • Released: April 1, 2014
  • Label: Carpark, Wichita
50 12 80
Life Without Sound
  • Released: January 27, 2017
  • Label: Carpark, Wichita
[A] 15 103
Last Building Burning
  • Released: October 19, 2018
  • Label: Carpark, Wichita
[B] 23
The Black Hole Understands
  • Released: July 3, 2020
  • Label: Self-Released on Bandcamp
- - - -
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Live albums[edit]

  • Live at the Grog Shop (2012)

Collaborative albums[edit]

EPs[edit]

  • Turning On (2009)

Singles[edit]

  • "Hey Cool Kid" – 2010 (Wichita Recordings) UK Sales No. 87[26]
  • "Didn't You" – 2010 (Old Flame Records)
  • "Leave You Forever" – 2010 (True Panther Sounds)
  • Split with Kevin Greenspon – 2010 (Bridgetown Records)
  • "Should Have" – 2011 (Carpark Records) UK Sales No. 51[27]
  • "No Future/No Past" – 2012 (Carpark Records)
  • "Stay Useless" – 2012 (Carpark Records)
  • "Fall In" – 2012 (Carpark Records)
  • "I'm Not Part of Me" – 2014 (Carpark Records)
  • "Modern Act" – 2016 (Carpark Records)

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Life Without Sound did not enter the US Billboard 200, but peaked at number 85 on the US Top Current Album Sales Chart.[25]
  2. ^ Last Building Burning did not enter the US Billboard 200, but peaked at number 98 on the US Top Current Album Sales Chart.[25]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Post-Punk Band Cloud Nothings to Attack SF – The Daily Californian". The Daily Californian.
  2. ^ a b Soeder, John (January 23, 2011). "Dylan Baldi's Cloud Nothings Take Cyberspace by Storm with Lo-Fi, Highly Catchy Indie rock". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved January 14, 2013.
  3. ^ "Artists". ghostramp.com.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ Christgau, Robert (March 29, 2012). "Cloud Nothings: Touched by Grace". MSN Music. Archived from the original on April 23, 2012. Retrieved January 14, 2013.
  5. ^ DeVille, Chris (January 2011). "Cloud Nothings at the Basement". Columbus Alive. Retrieved January 14, 2013.
  6. ^ Duffel, Kevin (April 12, 2012). "Reverb: Cloud Nothings". Transworld Skateboarding. Retrieved January 14, 2013.
  7. ^ Case, Wesley. "Indie Band Cloud Nothings Opts for a Cleaner, Clearer Sound – Singer Dylan Baldi Won Fans with Bedroom Recordings, and Then Ditched the Lo-Fi Reputation". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved January 14, 2013.
  8. ^ Bevan, David (January 25, 2011). "Cloud Nothings – Cloud Nothings – Wichita / Carpark; 2011". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved January 14, 2013.
  9. ^ Thomas, Ward A. (January 24, 2011). "Album Review: Cloud Nothings – Cloud Nothings (Wichita) – Dylan Baldi Matures from His Scuzzy Lo-Fi Origins with Pop Nous and Fizzy Hooks Intact". NME. Retrieved January 14, 2013.
  10. ^ Lillis, Peter (February 9, 2012). "Time to Stay Useless: A Review of Cloud Nothings, Attack on Memory". Frontpsych.com. Archived from the original on May 9, 2013. Retrieved January 14, 2013.
  11. ^ Phares, Heather. "Cloud Nothings – Attack on Memory". Allmusic. Retrieved January 14, 2013.
  12. ^ Cohen, Ian (January 23, 2012). "Cloud Nothings: Attack on Memory – Carpark; 2012". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved January 14, 2013.
  13. ^ Coughlan, Jamie. "Cloud Nothings + Wavves Release Collab LP 'No Life For Me'". Overblown. Retrieved June 30, 2015.
  14. ^ "Cloud Nothings – Facebook". Facebook. Retrieved October 13, 2016.
  15. ^ Evan Minsker. "Cloud Nothings Announce Album Life Without Sound, Share New Song "Modern Act": Listen". Pitchfork. Retrieved October 13, 2016.
  16. ^ https://www.thelineofbestfit.com/reviews/albums/cloud-nothings-last-building-burning-album-review
  17. ^ https://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/cloud-nothings-last-building-burning/
  18. ^ https://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/cloud-nothings-the-black-hole-understands/
  19. ^ https://www.nme.com/en_au/reviews/album/cloud-nothings-the-black-hole-understands-review-2703441
  20. ^ "Cloud Nothings – Chart History: Billboard 200". Billboard. Billboard. Retrieved February 20, 2020.
  21. ^ "Cloud Nothings – Chart History: Independent Albums". Billboard. Billboard. Retrieved February 20, 2020.
  22. ^ "Belgian Positions (Vlaanderen)". ultratop.be. Retrieved February 20, 2020.
  23. ^ "Belgian Positions (Wallonie)". ultratop.be. Retrieved February 20, 2020.
  24. ^ "Cloud Nothings by Cloud Nothings on Apple Music". Apple Music (US). Retrieved February 20, 2020.
  25. ^ a b "Cloud Nothings – Chart History: Top Album Sales". Billboard. Billboard. Retrieved February 20, 2020.
  26. ^ "Official Physical Singles Chart Top 100 – 24 October 2010 – 30 October 2010". Official Charts Company. Retrieved May 26, 2020.
  27. ^ "Official Physical Singles Chart Top 100 – 23 January 2011 – 29 January 2011". Official Charts Company. Retrieved May 23, 2020.

External links[edit]