Release Date 07/03/2020
When it sunk in that there might not be any live shows happening for the foreseeable future, the members of Cloud Nothings began work on what would become The Black Hole Understands. About a month into quarantine, Dylan Baldi and Jayson Gerycz started sending files back and forth, with guitars, bass, and vocals for the new songs being tracked in Philly while drums and mixing happened in Cleveland. This kind of remote recording process isn't out of the ordinary for some bands but it presented a new set of restrictions for Cloud Nothings, completely removing the element of interactive jamming and tightening the production around a set of streamlined summer pop songs. Since the start, every record has had its own vibe, but these songs take a sharp turn away from the noisy thrash and improv tendencies that have shown up on recent albums. The vocals are far more delicate and dreamy, floating along on fast, jangly songs. With clean hooks and uncluttered arrangements (a synth overdub from Bee Mask's Chris Madak is the album's only guest feature), the songs are the kind of concise, hook-heavy blasts the band was churning out in their earliest days, only a little more distant and weary. The Black Hole Understands isn't mellow by any means, but it shows a restraint that very much fits with the strange times that it was born of. The Black Hole Understands is hyper-melodic and high-energy but carries a sense of melancholy and cautious optimism that mirrors the restless dread of life on lockdown.