I have a tendency to over-think things, which is generally a bad idea.” says Cloud Nothings front-man Dylan Baldi, echoing something most of us can relate to in an over stimulated world. "'Psychic Trauma' is an exaggerated phrase that refers to that tendency. The whole record, lyrically and musically, is about simplifying and more or less discovering yourself through that simplification.” he explains further. “Keeping thoughts simple and in the present, as opposed to the ruminating 'Psychic Trauma' sort of zone, is a much better way to live. for me, at least.” But have no fear. 'Psychic Trauma', like the other tracks on Here and Nowhere Else is hardly the zen, chill-out album the above quote might have you think. On this, their third full length, Cleveland-bred outfit Cloud Nothings give joy a hard, sharp edge.

"I was feeling pretty good about everything so I just made stuff that made me happy," says founding member and mild-mannered chief songwriter Dylan Baldi. "I had nothing to be angry about really so the approach was more positive and less 'fuck everything.' I just sat down and played until I found something that I like, because I was finally in a position to do that." Three albums in and only 22 years of age, it's no surprise a record of such clarity came so easily to him.

Utilizing every possible opportunity to write while on the road for 18 consecutive months following the release of 2012's Attack on Memory, Baldi presented an album's worth of new material to his bandmates with just days before they'd enter the studio with esteemed producer John Congleton. "I'm pretty sure every song was written in a different country," he says. "It's the product of only having a couple of minutes here and there." But Cloud Nothings would enjoy a full week with Congleton at Water Music in Hoboken, New Jersey, followed by three days of mixing at his own studio in Dallas shortly thereafter. The result is Cloud Nothings, refined: impossibly melodic, white-knuckle noise-rock that shimmers with sumptuous detail, from Baldi's lone, corkscrewing guitar to his dramatically improved singing to bassist TJ Duke's piledriving bass lines and drummer Jayson Gerycz's volcanic fills.

"It's more subtle," says Baldi. "It's not just an in-your-face rock record. There's more going on. You can listen to a song 20 times and still hear different little things in there that you didn't notice before. Every time I listen I notice something that I didn't even realize we did."

It's yet another staggering show of a progress from a songwriter and band still coming into their own.

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Les Nuits Botanique
18 May 2014
Botanique, Brussels
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