I know, I know, I just wrote about that Bridgetown Records summer batch of releases, but I came home from work the other day & there was a copy of a new Bridgetown release sitting on my porch and I couldn’t not write about it, especially when it’s so good. The latest from Bridgetown is Kevin Greenspon + Cloud Nothings, a 10 song CD-split featuring 5 new songs from both of the featured artists. Drew and I listened to the split together in the car last night and since then I’ve listened to it four times at my desk — honestly, it gets better every time.
I’ve been trying to think about how to talk about this album, because I am really bad at descriptive language and talking about what things sound like in concrete terms that will help someone to actually understand what they actually sound like, and most of the time the best I can do is to cobble together some weird story that doesn’t actually make any sense but is maybe at least interesting.
So here is a story that will probably not tell you anything about what this split actually sounds like: When I was a senior in college, I went on a brief string of dates (maybe dates? maybe not dates?) with a guy a few years older than me who worked as an in-home portrait photographer and who drove all over rural poor communities in southwestern Ohio and southeastern Indiana taking pictures of people who wanted to have something to remind them of what they worked so hard for. He lived in a studio apartment in Cincinnati and on our first (non-)date we drove around for miles listening to this cassette tape of dissonant pop music and I had never heard of any of the bands on it because by the time I was a senior in college I was emotionally numb and spent all of my free time listening “Dead Set On Destruction” by Husker Du and “History Lesson Part II” by Minutemen on repeat, I was too embarrassed to ask who any of the bands were, but I feel like these songs would have been a perfect fit.
These ten songs sound exactly like that time in my life — speedy, hazy, disoriented, but with this strong undercurrent of youth and vitality and melody. These songs sound like the hour long drive home at two in the morning — like going 70mph in the pitch black dark, sometimes in the rain, sometimes in the snow, sometimes with the windows down — unsure if I am headed away from something or towards something, only sure that I am moving.
If you need something a little less “ripped from the closing monologue of an episode of My So-Called Life,” this split is 18 minutes and 26 seconds of amazing lo-fi pop music. Kevin Greenspon is based in California and Cloud Nothings are right here in Cleveland, OH, so this CD crosses the country and bridges the haze of the Pacific coast with the scum of the post-industrial midwest.
You can pick this up on CD from Bridgetown for $8 (it’s in an edition of just 250 copies, so if you want it, don’t hesitate to pick it up.) It’s also available on cassette from cass/flick (UK) for £4.99+shipping.