Cloud Nothings began as most Midwestern Punk projects do; a suburban teen goes off to college and then comes back to their parents’ house to record their newfound ideas in a familiar setting. In this case, it was Dylan Baldi going to Case Western Reserve University in Ohio, and after 10 years and 7 studio albums, Cloud Nothings have moved well beyond the basement and into a full-fledged touring band that continues to make their mark on the modern punk scene.
The spirit of their music has always been raw; Cloud Nothings is music made by real people, for everyday people. “The Spirit Of” takes the essence of an enthralled mosh pit and brings it to your COVID-quarantine bedroom. The track is unfiltered and stunted, and able to put you on the edge of your seat with just a few squeaky guitar riffs laid over a messy drum pattern. The track builds, guitars become distorted and drum kit fills the scene with heavy cymbal crashes and a Tommy-Gun-like snare.
The Spirit Of is out on Car Park Records, and comes with a partner track “Am I Something.” Both tracks carry the existential weight Cloud Nothings is known for. Baldi’s lyrics are unapologetic, confusing, and often leave a puzzle made of sadness and hope for the listener to solve. With every release, the group grows a little tighter, and the music a little more directed. These two tracks are a great stepping stone for Cloud Nothings.
The group’s fifth studio-album, The Shadow I Remember, will be released on Car Park Records on February 26, 2020. It is produced by legendary producer Steve Albini, who also produced for the group on Attack on Memory (2012) – the first album that helped them get footing. The group has gained a lot of traction since then, and all signs point towards this next album is a culminating work from a band that continues to push the post-punk genre into the future.