Wild Nothing - Nocturne
Pop has always been a very confused and misunderstood genre of music with extremely blurred boundaries. It has been reinvented countless times, more recently being lowered back into the god forsaken, money motivated and commercialistic gutter full of musical excrement that is squeezed out of the silky smooth arse-cheeks of Simon Cowell and his X-Factor minions. However, there have been times when it has risen out of this musical sewer, most noticeably by 80s bands like The Smiths, The Cure and Primal Scream, to create a platform for other bands to follow suit and bring genuine talent back into mainstream pop.
Just like the indie pioneers of the 80s there have been speckles of promise within pop music recently where great bands have managed to emerge and wrestle for the spotlight with their egotistical counterparts. Jack Tatum's Wild Nothing are one of these outfits that have brought some hope to the state of pop music and remind us that it can still be genuine, no matter what that creepy, square headed, son of Beelzebub tells us from behind his judging panel.
After Wild Nothing's brilliant yet patchy 2010 debut Gemini, which received much critical acclaim and cemented Tatum as a talented and thoughtful songwriter, but had some debut album jitters, he has returned for his sophomore album Nocturne which has ironed out all the creases and reflects a much more confident and advanced musician. The album, which Tatum composed almost single handed- the drums being the only instrument he did not play during the recording of the album- is an astral haze of sun soaked indie pop highlighted by the haunting and ethereal vocals by Tatum which include the staple themes of love and romance.
The first track from Nocturne, 'Shadow', is the perfect opener to the album, outlining the sound for the remaining eleven tracks, with the vocals glistening in the sun drenched guitar riffs and washed out synths that give Nocturne its delicate sound. 'Midnight Song' and 'Nocturne' follow shortly after and are the albums highlights, bringing the pace up a little and adding a more sensual element to the album with the chorus of 'Nocturne' being dotted with "ooo's" and repeating the softly spoken lines, "you can have me." 'Only Heather' is the other highlight of this brilliant album and by far the most romantic in the track list. Here Tatum sings about his unconditional love for Heather even though he is told she is no good, he breathes through the ghostly synth and intricate guitars "misunderstood yet she's good I can tell, everyone tells me I'm under her spell."
Nocturne is one of those albums that is impossible to get bored of, no matter when or where you are, it is a soothing and ethereal listen with songs that would do well in the charts as well as songs meant for private and reflective listening. Jack Tatum has sunk perfectly back into the shell of Wild Nothing with Nocturne and stepped up a notch from the already impressive Gemini. He has shown us exactly how to follow up an impressive debut and keep improving. Expect this to be in many of the best album lists this year.
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Label: Captured Tracks Release date: 24/05/10 Link: URL Before we go any further let me tell you two things. 1) Iâm a Gemini 2) I really like this record. Maybe thereâs some subconscious at work that instantly draws me to this record, maybe Iâm pre-disposed to liking it via some cosmic forces. Maybe. Iâve no idea if Jack Tatum, the 21 year old Virginian behind Wild Nothing, is a member of the same zodiac as I am but I would suggest he is. Everything involved in Gemini the reco... [read more]
Label: Captured Tracks Release date: 13/09/2010 Link: Myspace Stream: Spotify Speaking as someone who really likes the whole Jesus and Mary Chain and Galaxie 500 style shoegaze, Wild Nothing was something of a revelation when Gemini came out. Rich and jangly, yet lo fi and personal, modern and progressive yet a complete throwback, it was a complete contrast in itself. I guess the closest band I would place it to in modern music is The Pains of Being Pure At Heart, insofar as it takes a... [read more]