Cloud Nothings used to seem relatively well-defined by their band name. ‘Hey Cool Kid’ was an engaging bit of breezy, 3 minute indie pop. There wasn’t much to it, but that was part of its charm – I listened to it a bit, but never felt the compulsion to hear more from the band. After the release of new single ‘No Future/No Past’, I can’t be so certain that it’s the right choice of moniker anymore, and, consequently, I’m positive that I’d like to hear more.

Reinvention has become something of a stolid term in recent years, usually reserved for band-shaped behemoths who have outstayed their welcome and simply want to shift a few records outside of the core fanbase. After today, I vote we become a bit more picky about our usage, because this seems just about the most essentially truthful use of the word possible. ‘No Future/No Past’ is a horror movie of a track, working its way from creeping unease through to bloodcurdling climax, complete with incoherent screams and a cliffhanger of an outro. This is deep, emotive work, replete with brilliant touches in Dylan Baldi’s gradually cracking delivery and diving background guitars. This is as rich in production (no doubt helped that the redoubtable steve Albini was in charge of that side of things) as Baldi’s previous work was definitively, and purposefully, surface-level.

Cloud Nothings are either a lot shallower or a lot deeper than we knew, and I can’t remember a time when I’ve been more interested to find that out about a band.

Cloud Nothings – Hey Cool Kid (YSI)
Cloud Nothings – No Future/No Past (YSI)