A couple of years ago, one of my favorite tracks was a dreamy love song called “Chinatown” by a band named Wild Nothing. Two years later, the man behind Wild Nothing has just released his 2nd album, Nocturne, and I’m diggin it.
Those of you that read the site regularly have heard me talk a lot about how much I love to daydream. When people ask me what type of music I like, I tend to say “things that make me dance, daydream, think, and/or smile.” Wild Nothing ticks the last 3 boxes on that list and I truly love his sound.
The band is really made up of just one man; Virginia-based solo artist, Jack Tatum. His music seems to be most often categorized in with the whole chillwave/lo-fi craze – but I’d argue that placing him within those confines doesn’t do his music justice. Chillwave is a lazy offshoot of shoegaze, and one that I tend to steer clear of; while lo-fi is just chillwave without the wave.
For me, the problem with shoegaze, chillwave, and lo-fi, is that all 3 of them produce music which almost creates profound emotion, but never really does. For instance, chillwave has beats loud enough to where you’ll sometimes be fooled into thinking that dancing may be involved at some point – until 4 minutes later the song ends with a big “Hahahahaha! Gotcha! No dancing!” – and it pisses me off.
Anyway, now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, let me get back to Wild Nothing. (Man, if he ever reads this, Jack is probably going to be thinking something like “What the fuck? I thought this review would be about my music; not some orange guy’s issue with his own music collection.”)
Moving right along….
So, Jack’s voice reminds me a lot of a more soft version of the Stone Roses’s lead singer. (Ian Brown? I think that’s his name.) It’s very soothing, and has a way of ringing the emotion out of every song like the water out of a wet bathing suit. Daydreaming certainly happens, but his emotional lyrics and voice never let your mind run too far away from the actual music itself.
As for the music, this time around Jack has added a lot more instruments to his arsenal, and the production is much crisper than on the first album. Musically, I’m often times reminded of Crowded House (one of the most underrated bands of all-time) and possibly Yo La Tengo; with lots of acoustic guitar in the background complimenting upbeat lo-fi melodies throughout.
I’m still getting aquainted with “Nocturne,” but I can tell you I love just about every song on the album. So far, my faves are the title track and Only Heather. Listen to them both below.
*Wild Nothing’s 2nd album, Nocturne, is out now via Captured Tracks.
Wild Nothing “Nocturne”
Wild Nothing “Only Heather”