Cloud Nothings: “Stay Useless”
In 2009, teenager Dylan Baldi descended into his parents’ suburban Cleveland basement to record some music. Three years on, Baldi and his band Cloud Nothings have graduated from churning out lo-fi, anthemic power-pop on the family computer to becoming rising indie darlings with a new album recorded by alt-producer extraordinaire Steve Albini.
Back in those basement days, the then 19-year-old Baldi was a college student at Case Western Reserve University writing and recording songs for non-existent bands he created on Myspace. Cloud Nothings was the one that stuck. He dropped out of school to pursue music full-time. He released a slew of 7″s and cassettes (old tech composed on new tech) before his full-length debut Turning On. Songs like “Hey Cool Kid” were ultra lo-fi to be sure. Baldi’s voice was buried deep beneath layers of noise, but they also hinted at his vast song-crafting skills. He upped the ante with the self-titled follow-up which featured tunes full of nerdy, teenage exuberance like “Should Have.”
On Jan. 24 Baldi releases Cloud Nothing’s third full-length Attack on Memory. The Albini-produced record has the cleanest yet, but the added fidelity lets Baldi’s prodigious songwriting talents shine even more. The pulsing spirit of tracks like today’s song of the day “Stay Useless” make us oh-so-very glad Baldi went into that basement those three years ago.