Paul Kloschinsky’s journey through the hinterlands of indie songwriting has been a slowly developing, under the radar story. His effort have produced five albums since his 2008 debut and the latest release, Nobody Knows, further builds on his well-established strengths while still serving up evidence of his expanding songwriting prowess. The ten song collection concerns itself, primarily, with interpersonal relationships in a romantic vein while occasionally touching on other themes in a memorable fashion. Melody is the signature building block of Kloschinsky’s material, but his guitar playing and arranging skills are impossible to ignore. The production has a decidedly minimalist aesthetic thanks to its DIY roots, but the songs are clearly rendered and even gain a veneer of added atmospherics, primarily intimacy, from the relatively unadorned presentation.
There’s a pronounced pop sensibility informing a number of songs on Nobody Knows. One of the best examples of this is the opening number, “Fallin’ For You”. This is a superb choice for the album’s first track as it gets it off the ground energetically without ever playing too stridently. He modulates the musical energy some on the second song and title track. “Nobody Knows” has a brooding, but never morose, bent and some understated humor. Kloschinsky’s voice won’t soon be confused for Sinatra or any of the Three Tenors, but he has a knack for hooking into a vocal melody with equal parts precision and warmth. Few songs demonstrate that better than “Do You Remember?” Kloschinsky has unmistakable warmth in his vocal, but he resists ever making it overwrought or overly sentimental. “I Long For You” is cut from a similar cloth to the album’s other songs on a romantic theme, but the inclusion of strings gives it a pop grandeur lacking on the album’s other songs. It has a strong melody with a sharp upward swing and Kloschinsky doesn’t disappoint trying to inhabit its stately swing. It’s also the longest cut on Nobody Knows, but never threatens to overstay its welcome.
“Sing for the Silence” has a much more offbeat air than the album’s surrounding material, but it isn’t so far removed from Kloschinsky’s typical métier. It has a more pronounced poetic aspect than any song on the album and he achieves this effect through a careful balance of lyrical and musical content. “Can’t Forget About You” finds Kloschinsky revisiting familiar lyrical territory, but he turns his musical inclinations towards a much sharper rock and roll tilt than before. It helps him hit the mark with one of the album’s best pure rock songs, despite its acoustic cast. “Tell Everybody” is a bouncy and undeniably catchy uptempo folk song with Dylanesque swaths of harmonica. Kloschinsky has an easy facility with this sort of material that never plays false and carries enough of a signature stamp that it carries every song. Nobody Knows is Kloschinsky’s best album yet because you can chart a clear progression in confidence from his earlier efforts, an increasing command over the songwriting, and even for a novice listener, he emerges from these songs with distinctive and assertive voice that makes its points subtlety and never shouts.