Wild Nothing : Nocturne
One would’ve been forgiven for writing off Jack Tatum – the man behind dream-pop outfit Wild Nothing – after his much-buzzed-about debut Gemini. Though the soundscapes he created were at the best of times untouchable, the then-21-year-old university student was indeed punching out of his weight class.
The endless supply of internet-generated acclaim (re: hipsters wetting their coloured jeans) had expectations for his follow-up almost impossible to live up to. And while Nocturne isn’t the most striking of departures in terms of sonics, Tatum has given weight to his songs subtle nuances, producing a stirring follow-up. It may not generate the same amount of hype, though that’s no fault of the record itself.
Held against Gemini, Nocturne is a profoundly mature release, curling miraculously delicate synth-driven melodies around precise guitar-work, both acoustic and otherwise. It’s all complemented by Tatum’s charmingly playful vocals and his ability to make obsessive lyrics sound all too engaging.
Only Heather moves with a fluid determination, Shadow produces a melancholic hook that would entice even the most staunch fans of The Cure, and Paradise blurs the lines between an ‘80s-sounding, soundtrack-worthy dreamer and an engrossing modern indie classic.
A work as ambitious as Nocturne certainly runs the risk of stretching itself too thin. But instead, its ambition is its greatest asset. Tatum has realised he might not get too many more opportunities to showcase his ear for finely-composed pop classics. What he delivers may only indeed be a taste of things to come.
BY JOSHUA KLOKE
Best Track: Paradise
If You Like These, You’ll Like This: A car full of friends, a boot full of drugs and alcohol, and no end in sight.
In A Word: Buzz-worthy