Many bands and artists have been incredibly busy during the last year in quarantine. While many created patreons and attempted to create a live experience with livestreams and concerts in empty venues, some have been busy creating and recording in isolation. Cloud Nothings, the four piece DIY outfit, are the latter, and there’s no shortage of new and re-released material for fans to sink their teeth into.

As well as releasing a full record in July 2020, The Black Hole Understands, the band also have a freshly released re-issue to commemorate their ten year anniversary of Turning On. Today, they also release a brand new album The Shadow I Remember, and it’s a gem of a record – a tour-de-force in precession, emotion and energy all wrapped up perfectly in less than forty minutes.

The first track of an album is like the first line/paragraph of a book, it’ll set the tone and atmosphere for the story ahead. “Oslo” is not only a standout on the eleven track record, but an opener that kicks the door in with energy and emotion that not many record openers create. A perfect blend of atmospheric and energetic punk song, the opener sets not only a strong tone for the album with their DIY energy blended with intriguing and unique sounds.

“Nothing without you” is a complex and emotional song, what feels like a straight forward falling in love song, the band removes the mask of your prototypical love song and gives a realistic view into relationships. “I wanted someone to help me out, I never wanted to fall, You found the side of me that, I thought I couldn’t have known” is something that feels familiar but more heartfelt and honest.

Right in the thick of the album there’s a trio of songs that gives you a strong “pick me up” not that it’s needed on the record, but that makes you wish you were crowd surfing. “Nara” grooves and flows like a perfectly captured wave, “Sound of alarm” with its whirling guitar work and pulsing drum work. “Am I something” has the heaviest and most energetic drums on the album giving a diverse sound to the track and allowing more depth in the bands repertoire. 

In a time when Cloud Nothings is in a state of constant work and releasing more material in a concise time, you may think they would slip up or release something not up to par. They have not only buried that idea, but have released some of their best material to date. Hopefully the quartet go into hibernation mode more often when recording.

4/5

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