January 26, 2011

Song Review: Cloud Nothings' "Should Have"

The buzz that started last year behind 19-year-old Dylan Baldi's power-pop project, Cloud Nothings, has a good chance of translating into breakthrough success in 2011 thanks to standout singles like "Should Have." The track off his formal debut possesses an instantaneous gratification that only a small fraction of songs manage to do. Much like fellow lo-fi young prodigy, Nathan Williams of Wavves, Baldi exhibits great strength in putting together ridiculously catchy hooks with the slightest of edge. Baldi's youthfulness shines through here in this gushy puppy love story while sung in his nerded out voice, but he manages to pull off a maturity to his brand of indie pop rock that could easily best Matthew Sweet back in the '90s. Stylistically, it's difficult to pin definitive influences on Cloud Nothings on a track like "Should Have" where the guitar melodies scale up the coastline of beach pop, are backed by the fuzz and reckless cymbals of Ramones and Buzzcocks-era pop punk and later refined and indie-fied by a Superchunk-Jawbreaker middle ground. He's nowhere as old as the latter few, but Dylan Baldi and Cloud Nothings seem to have done enough cramming on a few decades worth of power pop history to teach their very own lesson on it in just over three minutes.

Cloud Nothings - "Should Have"

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