After releasing his 2010 debut, Gemini, to somewhat little fanfare, Wild Nothing started to gain word of mouth success that turned the dream pop release plenty of acclaim which turned into serious anticipation for his sophomore effort, Nocturne out today. Jack Tatum aka Wild Nothing is yet another bedroom prodigy that has turned musings of love, heart break and even more love into both a success on your iPod and on the live stage.
It’s not easy backing up after a successful debut, as plenty of artists can attest to, but Wild Nothing’s effort with Nocturne doesn’t disappoint, taking the 80s influenced sonic styles from Gemini and polishing them with stronger production and a more refined result. The mix of stringy synths and reverby guitar haven’t gone anywhere and Tatum’s combination of low and high vocals only reinforce that Nocturne sits just as comfortably in the dream pop genre as any.
From the beginning of Nocturne, opener and one of the records standouts ‘Shadow’ starts with a haunting synthline before quickly asserting itself as a quick upbeat ditty where Tatum enters his album long love letter to a significant other. The opener is a perfect reminder that Wild Nothing if nothing else is capable of a brilliant guitar riff as the one in between verses if simple but awesome. But the what it also does it shows us that this time around Tatum’s lyrics from the outset do not enter the same depth as Gemini did.
However, what follows is a series of perfectly executed mix of up and down tempo dream pop, with title track ‘Nocturne’ cropping up quickly again with guitar work that is plain and simply catchy as anything and lyrics that will have any couple singing along to ‘You can have me’ at any of his shows.
‘Only Heather’ is brings it back up both tempo wise and lyrically, as Tatum sings “She is so lovely, she makes me feel high…I’m in heaven” across a quick beat and lovely guitar work that rocks back and fourth. ‘Disappear Always’ also brings a similar feel, which just like Only Heather is a great song and perfect example of great pop-song-writing, Tatum starts to dangerously flirt to close to his songs sounding all the same. Due to the strong 80s stylistic sounds used on the album its easy to make this comment so when ‘Paradise’ starts with Tatum’s low tone vocal it’s a welcome change.
Finally ‘The Blue Dress’ is worth a mention for its opening guitar work that anyone with a pop fetish would appreciate, combined with the xylophone-y accompaniment it makes for a standout on the record. For any fan of Wild Nothing, Nocturne is the follow up that suffices in every way; quality song writing with better production and poppy-ness is all the right places. With tight production, a knack for right instruments playing the right parts and a distinct ability to sing a charming vocal over it all, Nocturne is something that will keep you up all night.