With their roots in Cleveland, Ohio, Cloud Nothings is celebrated for offering an angsty sound to its hardcore following, made up of mosh-pit hungry lovers of punk. Since 2009, frontman Dylan Baldi has been writing and producing his own music. Eventually it evolved from a solo project into a band. With a dry wit about him Baldi reminisces on “creating” the band saying, “Someone asked us to play a show and I realized I needed a band.”
Over the course of the band’s five studio albums, they’ve solidified their underground sound laced with a rebellious energy. Baldi admits he doesn’t really understand the music world and that him and his band are “a little out of that loop.” Regardless, the music world knows them. Cloud Nothings has made appearances at Coachella Music Festival, Bonnaroo, Pitchfork, Lollapalooza and Panorama. Since their fifth studio album, Life Without Sound, was released in early 2017, the band toured America, Europe and Asia (Japan, China, Singapore) before joining Japandroids on tour to close out 2017.
With a three year gap between their fourth album and Life Without Sound, Baldi says the band felt they needed a little downtime to decompress. “We toured so much with the two records before this one. We needed to live a normal life, not just be on the road all the time in some kind of weird shell of a human,” he says. Once they were ready to get back on the road Baldi says they slipped seamlessly back into the touring lifestyle. “It’s weird to kind of launch back into the manic lifestyle but it’s cool.”
The album focuses on growing and changing in your life and how to adapt to those changes. “It’s about being comfortable in situations that are generally uncomfortable to me,” Baldi explains. He says that trying to figure out your place wherever you are at that moment is a constant theme throughout his lyrics. “It’s about how to navigate through whatever change you’re going through. Things are always changing and it’s important to know how to move with them and not just stand there and be boring,” he says.
With songs like “Internal World” and “Realize My Fate,” Cloud Nothings is still embracing their conflicted narrative and basking in their self-deprecating words. But, on songs like “Darkened Rings” you can see something of a maturity seep through Baldi’s vocals. He’ll gladly admit that the band is still a “depressing punk band” and that honest self-awareness is what defines Cloud Nothings.