Wild Nothing's "Nocturne"
- Article by: Jon O'Brien
- Posted: 08/21/2012
Virginia singer-songwriter Jack Tatum, aka Wild Nothing, has previously described his sound as “my sense of what pop music used to be or even what pop music would be in my ideal world.”
His self-produced second album, Nocturne, continues on this same nostalgic wavelength, replicating the British indie-pop of the late ‘80s in such an effortlessly authentic manner that you could be forgiven for thinking that you’ve stumbled across a long-lost C86 mix-tape.
The opening track, “Shadow,” alone recalls three of the most iconic bands of the era, from the low-slung bass lines of New Order and the jangly hooks of The Cure, to Tatum’s hazy detached tones, which echo The Stone Roses’ Ian Brown on the rare instances when he can be bothered to sing in tune.
Elsewhere, the crystalline guitars, washed out synths and sensual “you can have me” refrain of the title track transports the student bedsit sound to the Balearic Islands. The inspired “Paradise” fuses the downbeat gothic rock of Echo & The Bunnymen with the infectious new wave-pop of Cyndi Lauper, whilst the shimmering Simple Minds-esque “This Chain Won’t Break” is the requisite John Hughes moment that every ‘80s homage seemingly must provide.
With only “Through The Grass,” a fairly off-kilter blend of disjointed beats, buzzing synths and Spanish guitars, deviating from the well-worn formula, it’s fair to say that Nocturne occasionally lapses into background music territory. When its swooning reaches its most overcome and sophisticated heights, there are few who do the whole retro guitar-pop thing any better.