Watchlist vol. 8: Cloud Nothings (MP3s)

MP3: Cloud Nothings – “Hey Cool Kid”
MP3: Cloud Nothings – “Can’t Stay Awake”

In recent years, Ohio has found itself on the receiving end of many jokes. Yet despite some unfortunate sports teams and economic problems, the Buckeye State remains fertile ground for great music.

In particular, the Akron, Ohio scene has produced legendary punk bands like The Cramps, Dead Boys, and Devo. More recently, The Black Keys exploded onto the national scene with their intoxicating mix of garage rock and blues. And, if it wasn’t for Oberlin College, the world may never have heard of Yeah Yeah Yeahs — singer Karen O and drummer Brian Chase met while attending the school and were both inspired by Ohio’s legendary 80s and 90s-era punk scene.

Lo-fi power pop group Cloud Nothings are the latest cool kids to rock out on the Ohio block. Upon first listen, you may think that they sound like any other garage band, but once the upbeat drumming and fuzzed-out guitars sink their teeth into you, you’ll keep coming back for more. Songs like “Can’t Stay Awake” and “Hey Cool Kid” — off their debut EP Turning On — are anthemic, undeniable gems.

Upon repeated listens, Turning On reveals a hidden depth that belies its lo-fi aesthetic. Buried beneath all the static and fuzz is the focused and talented songwriting of 19-year-old Dylan Baldi, who shows great promise for his age. Baldi possesses a MacGuyver-like resourcefulness to match his talent — he recorded Turning On with nothing but a microphone and his computer.

Expect Cloud Nothings to have a big 2011. They recently signed to Carpark Records and are recording their first full-length in Baltimore with Chester Gwazda — who in the past has recorded albums for folks like Dan Deacon and Future Islands — for a Winter 2011 release. The band is currently wrapping up some New York dates and will then tour Europe. Rest assured, they will no doubt be embarking on a North American tour shortly thereafter.

Cloud Nothings tour dates
10/20 – Rock Shop – New York, NY
10/20 – Public Assembly – New York, NY
10/21 – Cake Shop – New York, NY
10/22 – Fader Fort – New York, NY
10/23 – Don Pedro’s – New York, NY
11/1 – Beachland Ballroom – Cleveland
11/5 – Elektrowerkz – London
11/6 – The Hope – Brighton
11/7 – Thekla – Bristol
11/8 – Harley – Sheffield
11/9 – Deaf Institute – Manchester
11/10 – Captains Rest – Glasgow
11/11 – Sneaky Petes – Edinburgh
11/13 – ABC – Glasgow
11/14 – Constellations Festival – Leeds
11/15 – Komedia – Brighton
11/17 – Werkstatt – Koln
11/18 – Festsaal Kreuzberg – Berlin
11/19 – Trouw – Amsterdam
11/20 – Nouveau Casino – Paris
11/21 – Trix – Antwerp
11/22 – Electric Ballroom – London
11/23 – White Heat – London

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