Cloud Nothings, Last Building Burning (Carpark Records) –
Cloud Nothings, Last Building Burning
will be happy to hear that Dylan Baldi has returned to the mania of the Cleveland band’s earlier works, following a turn to slower introspection on last year’s Life Without Sound. On faster tracks like “In Shame,” he combines precise rhythms fraught with lyrical passion. Those who miss the slower Cloud Nothings can check the experimental percussion in “Dissolution” as proof that there’s more here than punky angst.
Rich Jones, The Shoulder You Lean On (RJ) –
Rich Jones, The Shoulder You Lean On
It’s nice to hear Chicago hip-hop artist Rich Jones take an expansive approach to R&B on this first EP. Jones follows artists like Jeffrey Gaines in weaving elements of traditional blues, electronica, even hints of country, into a pop-soul stew. Though the term “radio-friendly” means little in the 21st century, it’s good to remember what perfect pop gems like “Step Into You” and “Coin Toss” can sound like.