Cadenza Q&A: Dylan Baldi of Cloud Nothings

Georgie Morvis

Two years ago, Dylan Baldi was stuck on the outskirts of the indie scene. Though his first two albums (released under the name Cloud Nothings) were well-received, his brand of lo-fi power pop failed to distinguish him from his peers. That all changed last year with the release of “Attack on Memory,” which signaled a new direction for Baldi. After writing his first two albums by himself, he involved his touring band in the songwriting process this time around, and what resulted was darker and bolder than his previous work. Critics took notice, as many of them placed “Attack on Memory” among last year’s best albums. Cadenza spoke with Baldi before Cloud Nothings’ show at The Gargoyle on Thursday.


Cadenza: I’ve read that in college you put your music on Myspace under different fake band names. Do you know why Cloud Nothings in particular received attention?

Baldi: “I don’t know. I guess people just liked the songs more than the other ones.”


Cadenza: You’ve discussed how your boredom with writing simple pop songs inspired you to move into darker terrain. Is that a path you see yourself continuing on in the future? Do you think it might go the other way at some point, where you’ll start writing poppier songs?

Baldi: “Well the songs are still poppy and catchy. It’s been a little bit more of an aggressive format. It’ll probably stay that way for the next record, at least.”


Cadenza: Why did you decide to tentatively title your new album “Body Music”?

Baldi: “We actually didn’t do that, but I guess it got on the Wikipedia page, which is really weird. But I’ve never, ever even said those words together in a sentence.”


Cadenza: You’ve mentioned how your new album is going to be noisier and feature fewer vocals, but the new songs you’ve played live seem to be similar to those on “Attack on Memory” in terms of abrasiveness and your use of vocals. Have you changed your plans or are these exceptions?

Baldi: “Those songs might not even be on the record. Those are probably going to come out in some other format, but the record itself is going to be a little darker.”


Cadenza: If you release your new record this year you’ll have put out an album each year for four years in a row. Is this kind of pace sustainable for you?

Baldi: “Yes, definitely. It’s the only way to feel like I’m actually doing something, and not just sort of wandering around aimlessly.”


Cadenza: You’ve said that you tend to get embarrassed by your old material after you release a new album, do you think you’ll eventually feel that way about “Attack on Memory”?

Baldi: “Probably, I like all the stuff that we’ve made, but I just always want to keep doing something new.”


Cadenza: Have you reached that point with “Attack on Memory” yet? 

Baldi: “Oh I’m not embarrassed, just sort of sick of playing the same songs over and over.”


Cadenza: You’ve mentioned that you deleted your band’s Twitter account because Twitter “weirds you out.” What about Twitter makes you uncomfortable? 

Baldi: “I just think it’s dumb, right? It’s a dumb website. I mean, it’s an okay website, I just don’t think anybody uses it for anything useful. And that’s fine, because most of the stuff I think about is very inconsequential, but it’s just a weird platform for expression.”


Cadenza: I’ve read that you played saxophone in high school. Do you have any plans to use saxophones on your records in the future?

Baldi: “Probably not, but who knows?”


Cadenza: I’ve noticed you’ve been growing your hair out recently. Do you plan on cutting it anytime soon?

Baldi: “No, actually. I just don’t like doing that; it takes too long.”


– Mark Matousek

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