“It’s Over Now, the Way I Was Before”
Dylan Baldi’s musical indie-rock project Cloud Nothings has evolved rather drastically over time. His first two albums were solo projects he wrote in his Cleveland basement using GarageBand. He’d use live musicians at his shows, but didn’t consider using them for recording purposes until his third full-length was released. Now, as a trio—former guitarist Joe Boyer is no longer with the band, so Baldi takes over lead guitar—Cloud Nothings have released their fourth studio album Here And Nowhere Else.
Opener “Now Hear In” properly sets the stage for the whole album: it’s fast, there’s lots of guitar reverb, and the lyrics beg to be sung along to, loudly. With lines like, “I can feel your pain and I feel alright about it,” and “You know there’s nothin’ left to say,” a certain angsty pain is heard, but the eight tracks also invite dancing, jumping around, and sweating out the negativity to Baldi’s voice, Jayson Gerycz’s drumming, and TJ Duke’s bass.
Baldi’s screams, first heard on the previous album Attack On Memory, remain in Here And Nowhere Else, scattered throughout the album. In “Giving Into Seeing” he screams “Swallow!” in such a manner that it sounds like it hurts, and it’s his gritty, hoarse vocals at the ending of songs like “Just See Fear” and “No Thoughts” that save the songs, which may have otherwise been skippable. Any emotional feelings he may have throughout his day-to-day that he doesn’t show (he’s known to sit quietly and ignore his surroundings) burst open on almost every song.
Final track “I’m Not Part Of Me” wraps up as awesomely as the first track began and is definitely the best song on the album. Lyrically, the song is relatable and contains the sad-yet-content lines the rest of the album has: “It’s over now the way I was before, / But I can’t recall how I was those days anymore, / I’m learning how to be here and nowhere else, / I focus on what I can do myself.”
Baldi is still young; he’s got a couple years before he even turns 25. He hasn’t necessarily found that “thing” that will fill his happiness void, but he and his bandmates have done a great job of portraying the feeling that they’ve learned to live with their angst: a familiar feeling for pretty much all of us at some point in our lives.