This show is part of Illuminations, a special week-long series of curated events and shows in London, taking place across a variety of venues around the city in November.
In 2009, Cleveland’s Dylan Baldi began writing and recording lo-fi power-pop songs in his parents’ basement, dubbing the project Cloud Nothings. His music quickly started making the Internet rounds, and fans and critics alike took note of his pithy songcraft, infectiously catchy melodies, and youthful enthusiasm. Baldi soon released a string of 7”s, a split cassette, and an EP before putting out Turning On—a compilation spanning about a year’s worth of work—on Carpark in 2010. January 2011 saw the release Cloud Nothings’ self-titled debut LP, which, put next to Turning On, found Baldi cleaning up his lo-fi aesthetic, pairing his tales of affinitive confusion with a more pristine aural clarity. In the interval since the release of Cloud Nothings, Baldi has toured widely and put a great deal of focus on his live show, a detail that heavily shapes the music of his follow-up album, Attack on Memory.
After playing the same sets nightly for months on end, Baldi saw the rigidity of his early work, and he wanted to create arrangements that would allow for more improvisation and variability when played on the road. To accomplish this desired malleability, the entire band decamped to Chicago—where the album was recorded with Steve Albini—and all lent a hand in the songwriting process. The product of these sessions is a record boasting features that, even at a glance, mark a sea change in the band’s sound: higher fidelity, a track clocking in at almost nine minutes, an instrumental, and an overall more plaintive air. The songs move along fluidly, and Baldi sounds assured as he brings his vocals up in the mix, allowing himself to hold out long notes and put some grain into his voice. Minor key melodies abound, drums emphatically contribute much more than mere timekeeping, and the guitar work is much more adventurous than that of previous releases.
For all of early Cloud Nothings’ fun and fervor, Baldi admits that it never sounded like most of the music he listens to. With Attack on Memory, he wanted to remedy this anomaly, and in setting out to do so, Baldi and co. have created an album that shows vast growth in a still very young band.
Mazes formed in early 2009 in Manchester and began their life touring with Pens and Wavves before going on to play shows and tour with bands such as Deerhunter, Thee Oh Sees, Sic Alps, Box Elders, Dum Dum Girls and Crocodiles. The band themselves reference a range of late 80’s and early 90’s bands such as Guided by Voices and Eric’s Trip, and Mazes’ recorded output so far has shared a similar lo-fi aesthetic with both acts, whilst GBV’s belief in the 30 second song and Eric’s Trip’s ability to put a honeyed pop melody over thick distortion are influences.
Cheatahs is the project of Nathan Ernest Hewitt from Canada, once solo, now a budding four piece from London. Having played his debut show with WAVVES only a year or so ago and releases a limited edition 7? on Young and Lost Club as well as an EP cassette on Paradise Vendors Inc. Nathan has recruited James Wignal on guitar Craig Bowers (also Weird Dreams and Sleep all Day Records) on drums and Conan Roberts (also Mazes). Since then, Cheatahs have played shows with bands such as Ariel Pink, Crocodiles, Best Coast.
Additionally, our good friends from Sexbeat will be manning the decks in between the bands.
Tickets for this show are priced at £10.50 and are available at 9am on Friday 10th August from the following links: WeGotTickets / TicketWeb / SeeTickets