Jack Tatum's Wild Nothing made a pretty impressive showing with its last album, GEMINI. The debut album was a beautiful collection of lo-fi, reverb-drenched dream pop. Comparisons were drawn to The Smiths, The Cure, Joy Division, New Order, and a variety of other 80's new-wave bands. The comparisons are apt: Tatum's music lends a lot of tonal cache to the nostalgic bands of decades past. Wild Nothing's music isn't unoriginal though; while it may be inspired by the work of others, Wild Nothing is a band that could have only existed now. The band's second album, NOCTURNE, feels like GEMINI with a bigger budget. It's not quite as lo-fi, but the same shoe-gazing soundscapes are here.
Lead track "Shadow," (and also one of the album's singles) is an immediate mission-statement. Most of what you need to know about the album can be found in its first track: reverb-drenched vocals, an airy and loose quality to the instrumentation, romantic lyrics -- it's all represented here. "Paradise" takes listeners on a strange sonic journey that leads through multiple arrangements, sustained by Tatum's more baritone vocals. "This Chain Won't Break" and "Disappear Always" are a little more grounded than Tatum's normal dream-pop work, and the detour proves to be a successful one. While Wild Nothing is good at being romantic and dreamy, some of the most successful songs feature the band playing to their most "normal."
Fans of Beach House, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, or The Horrors (more recent output) would be advised to check out Wild Nothing's work. While I still prefer their debut, GEMINI, NOCTURNE is a solid listening experience. Essential tracks to sample/download: "This Chain Won't Break," "Disappear Always," and "Shadow." This album proves that GEMINI wasn't a fluke and that songwriter Jack Tatum is a musical identity to keep an eye on.
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