Cloud Nothings

Turning On

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AllMusic Review by

Turning On collects the early EPs from Cloud Nothings' Dylan Baldi, and even though they span little over a year’s worth of work, they show how quickly his music progressed. Baldi's collisions of tunes and noise falls somewhere between Wavves' stoned mischief and Tapes ‘n’ Tapes' early lo-fi output, but his way with melodies and his emotional directness are all his own. “Old Street”’ is a jumble of feelings and guitars, its muddiness capturing how hard it is to figure out what to do with leftover love. “Can’t Stay Awake” is brashly honest about why lots of people make music in the first place: “I need a picture in a magazine/So I know that you will talk to me.” That Baldi was still in his teens when he recorded these songs lends extra authenticity to “Hey Cool Kid”'s brilliantly surly outsider lament and “Morgan”'s giddiness. Adolescent awkwardness also shows in how some of these songs feel gangly and a little indulgent (neither “Water Turns Back” nor “Strummin’” really needed to be over four minutes long). Still, Baldi's innate melodic skill rings true, especially on “I Am Rooftop” and the title track, making Turning On as charming as it is promising.

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