Hey Cool Kid // Cloud Nothings

We recently met Dylan Baldi over a late October email. “I’m Dylan Baldi, from Cleveland, Ohio,” he introduced himself. “It’s a city that everyone forgets about, but if you came for a visit you’d realize that there’s a lot of talent here (artistic and otherwise), tons of great food, and a lot of people who really care about forming a fantastic community centered around giving back to the city that raised them.” Baldi’s humility and passion as a music maker immediately jumped off the screen. “I started recording music as Cloud Nothings on weekends home from college. I would record a few songs in my room at my parents’ house every weekend, and eventually, by way of Internet magic, the songs took off in the blog world,” he explained. We went on to discuss the influence that the Internet has over music, specifically “indie” music. Mulling over this idea, Dylan responded, “I think that it’s fantastic that people can put something out there and get feedback so quickly, but also that it’s kind of scary that [the] ‘next big thing’ is a status that’s put on something new every week.”

We asked Dylan where he came up with the name Cloud Nothings and he admitted without hesitation, “Cloud Nothings was just a name I had written down on a huge list of band names I had and have added to for forever… I’m a nerd.” As he’s about to release his first full-length, we wondered if Dylan’s lo-fi undertones might change with these new recordings. Dylan responds, “My sound is definitely becoming more complex, in terms of arrangement and what I think about before making a song. [But] I’m not trying to force any kind of evolution, though – it’s just been the natural result of writing more.” Calling himself out again, Dylan says, “I’m a total music nerd, so the most exciting things for me are hearing that labels and bands I like are interested in my music.”

As far as the video for “Hey Cool Kid,” Dylan explains, “The concept from the video comes from Allen Cordell, the director. Carpark [Records] and I handed over complete creative control to him, and he came back with that crazy video. I’d seen some of Allen’s work previously, so I had an idea of what to expect, but I was still really excited by what he came up with when I saw it for the first time.” Expanding on the absurdity of the clip, Dylan adds, “When we were in New York for CMJ last week someone came up to me and told me he was the guy dressed in all purple who threw his girlfriend across the gym in the video, so that was kind of weird.”

For everyone across the pond in Europe, November is your month to catch Cloud Nothings on tour with Les Savy Fav. Watch out for Cloud Nothings’ first full-length, due to release this winter.

—Annick Mayer