New music: Cloud Nothings, Craig Finn, Wilco

This past week featured new albums by Cloud Nothings and the Hold Steady’s frontman Craig Finn.

Cloud Nothings’ Dylan Baldi is taking a harder approach than his past offerings with the help of Steve Albini on Attack on Memory. Even though Baldi joked about Albini’s influence in a recent interview, the producer’s touches are clearly heard on singles No Future/No Past and No Sentiment.

No Future No Past – Cloud Nothings

While Baldi started out in his parents’ basement a couple of years ago and later formed a full band, Finn is taking a break from his band of eight years with a decidely slower approach on Clear Hearts Full Eyes. I think Finn is awesome, but I can’t help but look forward to the next Hold Steady album. It will be interesting to see how his break shapes the next release. (Finn is playing the Empty Bottle February 7!)

In other notable news this week, folkie singer/songwriter Laura Gibson released La Grande. Check out this very cool single and video for the title track:

La Grande – Laura Gibson

Wilco released its eight-song iTunes session featuring five alternate takes of songs from the new album The Whole Love. While the songs aren’t dramatically different from those on the album, the release also includes new versions of older songs War on War and Passenger Side. It also features the band backing Nick Lowe performing his Cruel to Be Kind hit, which he also performed in concert during shows in which he opened for the band last year. It’s probably a fans-only type of release but I’ll say again that this Wilco album is the best thing the band recorded in years.

Here’s a video for the song Dawned on Me and featuring Popeye!

I Might – Wilco

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