It’s been a whirlwind rise to semi-stardom for Dylan Baldi (aka Cloud Nothings). A little more than a year ago, he was an 18-year-old sitting in his parents’ basement in Cleveland, making songs with nothing besides a laptop and a microphone.
Since then, he signed to Carpark Records, which released a compilation of his various tracks called the Turning On EP. And just a few weeks ago, a more properly produced, self-titled, full-length album dropped.
In the interim, he became a darling of the blogosphere and formed a band that played with such acts as Titus Andronicus, Best Coast, Wavves, Real Estate, Woods, Parts & Labor and Kurt Vile.
The songs on the EP are loaded with the obvious lo-fi, fuzzy, garage-rock sound. The best ones are the title track and “Hey Cool Kid”.
But on the LP, which was produced by Baltimore-based Chester Gwazda (Dan Deacon, Future Islands), the tracks become tighter and crisper. And the sound develops something of a surfer-punk ethos. It kinda reminded me of what Best Coast would sound like with a male lead vocalist.
Check out the band’s MySpace page, where you will find seven tracks to listen to.
Based in Aliso Viejo, Calif., the husband-wife duo of Jason and Julie Martin have been making music together for more than 15 years.
Bon Voyage began as a side project for Jason, a member of Starflyer 59, and Julie, the former lead singer of Havalina. They put out a couple of 7-inch records in the mid-’90s then a self-titled LP in 1998. Eventually, they followed that with The Right Amount in 2002.
Then they went on their longest hiatus to date before dropping their third full-length release, Lies, in 2008.
The music on Lies is your basic shoegaze/synth-pop with Julie providing the vocals and Jason doing everything else. There are several solid tracks, including the opener, “Monster”, “Birthday” and “Wake Up, Make Up”.
They also do a decent cover of The Smiths’ “Girlfriend In a Coma”.
Speaking of Morrissey and the boys, if you’re still waiting for them to get back together it’ll probably be awhile. In the mean time you could always go check out Northern Portrait.
There’s very little you need to know about this group other than the fact that it is composed of a trio of Danish dudes who sound exactly like The Smiths.
Seriously. Pick any of the 10 songs on the band’s debut full-length release, 2010’s Criminal Art Lovers.
It’s a solid album, but it’s difficult to get past the feeling that you’re listening to a tribute band.