“Proof that Tatum has left behind the world of basements and Virginian dorm room production for better things…”
Wild Nothing | Nocturne
Nocturne, the second album Jack Tatum has produced under the Wild Nothing moniker, is in itself is not much different from his debut album, Gemini. Yes, the production is a bit flashier as Tatumn upgrades to better equipment and a live drummer instead of the drum machines used on his previous record, but it maintains all of the charm. Altogether, although it takes a few listens, Nocturne grows on you quickly and fits wonderfully into the days that have been just a little too far past “busy”; when the only thing left to do is sit in your bed and relax.
The opening song, ‘Shadow’, along with most others on the album, has a very mellow sound, but is still upbeat enough to be considered sprightly. The falsetto tone in Tatum’s voice has a nice contrast to some of the deeper tones in songs such as ‘Only Heather’ or ‘Paradise’, the former serving as one of the album’s mushier songs, with Tatum singing “She is so lovely, she makes me feel high. Oh, ’cause I’m with Heather. Only Heather can make me feel this way” as some airy tones flutter in the background.
‘The Chain Won’t Break’ possesses a nice deconstruction in the middle where Tatum lets most of the accompanying music fall away until what’s left is a very prominent snare, the occasional cymbal and his voice singing “And I don’t know just what I got myself into, but all I know is I can’t let go” before allowing the other instruments to come back into the track. It’s one of the standout moments here, highlighting why Tatum is known as a wonderful tunesmith.
Two songs later, ‘Paradise’, while not offering much in the lyrical sense is home to some neat production as the shift in balance of the left and right headphones around the 2:30 mark creates a glorious back-and-forth sensation before picking up again around the 4 minute mark. Very simple, but it sounds great.
Since the creation of Wild Nothing in 2009, it’s clear Tatum has now left behind the world of basements and Virginian dorm room production for better things, but his music still has that soul that can only come from a passionate musician who’s spent hours on his own perfecting his song just for the sake of making music. This is a gem.