Heard in 2012 (2): Cloud Nothings’ ‘Stay Useless’ (2012)

 

Cloud Nothings returned this year with a new album on which they shifted gear significantly. From the oddball pop of their EPs and debut full-length they’ve turned to out-and-out pop-punk. And they do it well.

Like all pop-punk the songs are basically about slacking off, but it’s a bit more sophisticated than what Blink 182 were producing in my high school years. Instead of paying homage to laziness, ‘Stay Useless’ is about making time to waste time—something we’re sorely in need of in an over-worked and over-consuming culture. Time wasted isn’t wasted time. Time wasted brings clarity. And it has the best guitar solo of the year (from 1:53). Probably my favourite new album of the year (just edging out Beach House’s Bloom).

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