As an aging music fan, it’s easy to rely on old favourites, comfort music that you know will do the job. I consumed enough music between 1995 and 2005 that I could easily go the rest of my life without ever hearing a new song, and never get bored.
But as tempting as that is, I know it’s more rewarding to seek out new stuff. Because if only 1% of what I try ends up being good, that one awesome find is worth the 99 failed experiments. Which is how I came to listen to Cloud Northings for the first time, with Here and Nowhere Else.
It’s rock, but not traditional. It’s indie, but not twee. It’s short and sharp, but not punk. Everything about opening track Now Hear In seems so easily defined, until I try to define it. Quieter Today delivers more of that undefinable and Here and Nowhere Else is shaping up to be one of those one percenters.
This is simple, stripped back stuff. Could Nothings keep the extras and studio polish to an absolute minimum, all for maximum effect. Psychic Trauma and Just See Fear are an awesome reminder of how effective voice, guitars and drums can be. Whack a microphone in front of these dudes, let them loose, and the results arte undeniable.
I keep harping on about the simplicity of this album, and there really isn’t much else to say. Which I guess, is a virtue of that simplicity. Cloud Nothings don’t waste any time with superfluous or perfunctory gloss. Here and Nowhere Else is about as raw and unaffected a sound as you’ll hear from any band in modern music. And if you like that sound, the pure unaffectedness only makes it that much better.