Artist: Wild Nothing
Genre: Dream-Pop/Boy Toy
Imagine falling asleep under a tree in a secluded park. Half-resting, your mind begins to drift into dreams of your past. Important childhood memories softly hover just below you. They are blurred and out of focus, but emotionally resonant. You gradually return through important moments of your life, to your comfortable body. Rested and positive, you rise and life goes on.
Nocturne by Wild Nothing is the soundtrack to that dream journey. Artfully arranged, everything floats into one movement; one gentle, blushed sigh. The entire album was written and recorded by Jack Tatum, the founder of Wild Nothing, who only uses other members for live performance. Influence of “Gemini,” Jack’s first album, is unmistakably present. This is still the same artist with the same approach to songwriting, but everything shines to a clearer resolve. Jack’s vocals maintain a constant flux from coherent to unintelligible, resulting in a sensual ambiguity akin to other shoegazers.
There is a gentle innocence here, as he chants “you can have me” during the albums title track. I find myself giving into the notion that I might want to, if only to comfort him. It is not until “Through The Grass” that Jack’s delineation from previous work is clear. He sacrifices melodic definition for something more ethereal. The build is slow and wonderful and I don’t really want it to end. Transitioning triumphantly, “Only Heather” resounds with a gentle grip labeled hope.
“Paradise” is where Jack’s musical maturity becomes apparent as the album-long movement shows focus and direction. Tonal choices bring to mind a ferry ride at night, driving through the city in summer, and washed out camera lenses. By track ten, “The Blue Dress,” the movement has somehow evolved, subtly. “Rheya,” the album’s final track is a festival of lights, lifting my spirits and bringing me back to consciousness.
Darkness has been resolved, unrest has ended and progress has been made. At the album’s completion, just like waking, it’s suddenly over and I’m left a bit fuzzy on all the details.
Free stream of the album below: