On Monday, I read the following sentence on a popular music website about the new Cloud Nothings album: "The band continues to make powerfully utilitarian music for people who don't seek out this type of music just to be told what to think." I read it over and over again until my eyes rolled back into my head. It is perhaps the most inscrutable piece of music writing ever published, because not only does it imply that some people turn to a band like Cloud Nothings to "be told what to think," it also makes the claim that Cloud Nothings somehow subvert that expectation. I'm fairly certain when Dylan Baldi was playing back his new album, he wasn't thinking "Yeah, fuck all those people who want me to tell them what to think!" It's the kind of sentence you only write after spending far too much time in tight, circular critic-logic that gets more and more abstracted from reality over time. We've all been there, and we will all pay for our sins, so consider this devotional. The following clichés should be forever eradicated from music discourse. It's not too late to save our souls.
Cloud Nothings' Here and Nowhere Else: "Powerfully utilitarian."