Cloud Nothings

The beloved Cleveland rock group is BACK!

Cloud Nothings

Itasca

Wed, February 15

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

Doug Fir Lounge

Portland, OR

$16.00 - $18.00

This event is 21 and over

Cloud Nothings
Cloud Nothings
Cloud Nothings was founded in a Cleveland basement, the one-man recording project of Dylan Baldi, an unassuming, then 18-year-old student of song with a remarkable ear for melody. Prolific from the start, Baldi’s early work was rough but immediate: crudely recorded, spring-loaded spasms of Buzzcocks-informed pop that quickly found an online following among the lo-fi-inclined. When an opportunity presented itself to open a small show in Brooklyn, Baldi abandoned a still-in-progress final project to be there. The gamble paid off.

In 2010, Carpark unveiled Turning On, a retrospective introduction that combined early 7? singles and the full-length debut (a limited release on cassette and vinyl) from which it took its name. The following year, Cloud Nothings made its proper Carpark debut with a thrilling self-titled LP that found Baldi in a studio for the first time, shedding the many layers of hiss and distortion that had once obscured (or enhanced) his every hook. What followed was an unexpected breakthrough, 2012’s Attack on Memory, an album that very loudly (with the help of producer Steve Albini) announced the arrival of Cloud Nothings as the sound of more than just Baldi: Caustic and cathartic, it marked the first time Baldi wrote with and for his longtime touring band, drummer Jayson Gerycz, bassist TJ Duke and since departed guitarist Joe Boyer. While its rightly acclaimed and hastily recorded follow-up, 2014’s Here and Nowhere Else refined and expanded upon the volcanic interplay that galvanized its predecessor, it also found Baldi realizing his potential as a singer and the leader of an undeniably great rock band.

Which brings us to Life Without Sound, his most polished and outwardly reflective set of songs to date. Workshopped over the course of a year with his bandmates, it’s an album rich in both worldly insight and incandescent detail. Smart, nuanced, and immensely listenable, this is guitar-driven pop as it should be—conceived by a songwriter who continues to sound like one of the finest of his generation.
Itasca
Itasca
Kayla Cohen, a.k.a. Itasca, is a folk guitarist and songwriter from New York State. She has released several small press CD-rs and cassettes over the past five years, and began recording as Itasca after a move to Los Angeles in 2012. She records at home, taking inspiration from the fringes of LA's open space and natural land.

On Itasca's latest full-length, Unmoored By The Wind, Kayla Cohen achieves new levels of clarity and expansiveness. Where 2012's Grace Riders on the Road reveled in homemade intimacy, Unmoored By The Wind opens to the world, reaching a timeless, near-baroque yearning; each of these eleven tracks burns with a unique vision. At once soft-spoken and virtuosic, Cohen's fingerpicking mesmerizes, laying gauzy groundwork for vocal work David Keenan rightfully cited as "courtly…dazzling." It's a spacious set of songs, one you can wander into, flowing seamlessly between wistful interludes a la Bob Desper and fully-fledged verses of powerful, often beguiling imagery. "Two male shapes are standing/ Shrouded in white cloth" sings Cohen on "Nature's Gift," with a plaintive candidness that echoes Sibylle Baier. "They're looking at me/ Sort of smiling/ Seems as if I've called them here." Cohen's voice has a windburnt quality reminiscent of Lal Waterson or Collie Ryan, but it's tempered with sweetness, and on songs like "Colt In Hiding" she realizes an angelic luster. More than ever before, though, Cohen's confident singing is laid bare; vocals ride on top of arrangements, taking their rightful place in the forefront. The effect is arresting. Cohen has achieved new levels of clarity, while staying true to the seductive ghostliness that has come to characterize her sound.