Cloud Nothings – The Shadow I Remember (2021) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Cloud Nothings – The Shadow I Remember (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 32:15 minutes | 716 MB | Genre: Indie Rock, Punk Rock
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Carpark

Back to the 90s, dirty and torn T-shirts, crumpled lumberjack shirts and worn-out skateboards that are down to their last ball bearing… For a decade, the Cloud Nothings have been cultivating an indie rock that just refuses to die, with raging and rough guitars, racing drums and vocals infused with anguish and nonchalant anger. They have cultivated a growing notoriety, especially via Bandcamp, and then their label, Carpark. Led by Dylan Baldi, the lo-fi band from Cleveland, Ohio, returns with The Shadow I Remember, an album produced by a giant of the genre, Steve Albini, a fixture of the rock scene who has worked with thousands of bands and on some masterpieces such as In Utero by Nirvana, Pod by the Breeders, the Pixies’ Surfer Rosa and Rid of Me by PJ Harvey. For Cloud Nothings, Albini had already produced Attack on Memory, the 2012 album that took the band to the next level. A few more works and almost a decade later, the producer emeritus is back for a second adventure. On The Shadow I Remember we find Baldi’s passion, as he nervously surfs a wave of saturated guitars. Oslo, Nothing Without You, The Spirit Of, Only Light … the melancholic, adolescent and endearing melodies follow one after another. They will remind some of the sensation of listening or re-listening to Cloud Nothings’ big brothers, the veterans of Dinosaur Jr, Sonic Youth or Sebadoh… The first single, Am I Something, is also reminiscent of Hole or the Breeders, in the way that Baldi endlessly repeats “am I something good…”. The Shadow I Remember ends beautifully, with a brilliantly noisy The Room It Was that would probably have won Thurston Moore’s approval… Like skating, like grunge, this material is all still there, and it’s not giving up yet. – Yan Céh

Since Attack on Memory, Cloud Nothings have more than proven themselves as a formidable rock band. However, there’s always been something special about Dylan Baldi’s pithy, poignant pop songs. While most of the group’s albums featured at least one or two of these gems, The Shadow I Remember is the first to focus on this side of Baldi’s music since Cloud Nothings moved out of his bedroom. Baldi and company also come full circle with the album’s creation: they recorded it with Steve Albini at his Electrical Audio studio, where they made Attack. In their own way, The Shadow I Remember’s compact, hooky outbursts are just as potent as the slow-burning epics on Cloud Nothings’ other albums. They’re so seasoned that they can shift from bouncy to crushing and back again in a blink on “The Spirit Of,” or whip through a dramatic buildup, blistering choruses, and a radiant coda in 90 seconds on “It’s Love.” Cloud Nothings are as searching as ever on The Shadow I Remember, and Baldi continues to ask the essential questions that he’s confronted bravely at every stage of his career. “Am I older now/Or just another age?,” he wonders on “Oslo,” although his yelp is evergreen; on “Am I Something,” his existential angst is even deeper when he howls “Does anybody living out there really need me?” Though he doesn’t find many answers, it’s easy to get carried away by the way he and the rest of the band blaze through songs like “Sound of Alarm” and “The Room It Was.” Paradoxically, scaling back the scope of the album’s songs lets Cloud Nothings try some new things that show how much their music has grown. Ohmme’s Macie Stewart sings backup on two of the album’s finest and most wistful songs, “Nothing Without You” and “Open Rain,” while the synth textures electronic composer Brett Naucke adds to “A Longer Moon” give the song an impressively cosmic sweep. By revisiting their past, Cloud Nothings find something new in it, as well as something timeless, and The Shadow I Remember is a full-throated, full-hearted triumph. – Heather Phares

1-01. Cloud Nothings – Oslo (04:08)
1-02. Cloud Nothings – Nothing Without You (03:18)
1-03. Cloud Nothings – The Spirit Of (02:30)
1-04. Cloud Nothings – Only Light (02:37)
1-05. Cloud Nothings – Nara (02:28)
1-06. Cloud Nothings – Open Rain (03:01)
1-07. Cloud Nothings – Sound of Alarm (03:03)
1-08. Cloud Nothings – Am I Something (03:26)
1-09. Cloud Nothings – It’s Love (01:31)
1-10. Cloud Nothings – A Longer Moon (02:51)
1-11. Cloud Nothings – The Room It Was (03:15)


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