Wild Nothing


Artist: Wild Nothing

Title: Nocturne

Label: Captured Tracks

Rating: 8.8


American dream pop band Wild Nothing are to release their sophomore album Nocturne at the end of August. The C86-esque, shoe-gazing, indie pop group fronted and created by Jack Tatum began making music under the name in 2009. His demos got them a record deal before debut album Gemini got him even more attention and a position in the Pitchfork Top Albums of 2010 (49th).

The label with a flawless list of artists to their name including Blouse, Beach Fossils and Thieves Like Us, Captured Tracks have kept things interesting and made a calendar/poster to coincide with the release of the album (it’s free for all fans who send a self addressed envelope to their headquarters in Brooklyn). On their site the songwriter and driving force behind Wild Nothing, Jack Tatum said of his pop influences; “I don’t think it’s going to be a secret to anyone that I care about pop music, but it’s definitely more my sense of what pop music used to be or even what pop music would be in my ideal world”.

And so the melodic, nostalgic pop album begins with “Shadow”. Strings and soft, breathy vocals merge; “I’d go with you if you asked me too, but we wouldn’t get too far, two strangers in the dark”. Jangly guitar comes in over the orchestral strings making for a class opening. Title track “Nocturne” is heart on sleeve, full on jangle pop at it’s best – the opening sounds like it is straight out of the eighties.

“Only Heather” is a romantic, upbeat song about being under the spell of a misunderstood girl, Tatum sings; “She is so lovely, she makes me feel high”. The following track “This Chain Won’t Break” is a drum heavy song whilst “Disappear Always” is about a disappearing act; “we can talk about anything I don’t care, get out of the house for an hour or two, but it’s missing something I can’t explain, and this house is now a grave, I’ve been sleeping here for days…so I disappear always”. Tatum’s lyrics simple but meaningful and accompanied with swimming melodies which only add to the dreamy pop feel.

The album finishes with two great tracks “The Blue Dress” includes driving guitar, a touch of synth and even xylophone – the guitar riff is extremely catchy. Closing track “Rheya” includes more scattered, high-pitched synth and soothing vocals. It seems that Nocturne showcases Tatum’s newer, grown-up sound but with the same lovely dream-pop essence that made him so popular in the first place.

Reviewed by Heather Welsh.