Review Summary: Virginia native drops a debut of well constructed dream pop with a foot planted firmly in the jangle rock of years past.
Working backwards is usually a pretty tricky turn to pull when concerning music, at least in the sense of a honest, innocent crack at an homage. Take the emergence of The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart last year, with their self-titled debut, they took a hearty whack at the lush honey comb that was the stupidly infamous Sarah Records catalog. With their feet firmly planted in the jangly twee pop of the Field Mice and Orchids the band strode out strong with their debut, unabashedly aping the shy-guy
pop of their musical forbearers -- but it worked. Wild Nothing, or Virginia native Jack Tatum, could easily be held in the same regard with his texture heavy debut Gemini.
Though Tatum makes a solid attempt at building on the sound, as opposed to trying to perfect it; his debut is still a delightfully familiar yet innately obscure pop record sopping with hooks, great turns of phrase and melodies that damn near incessantly demand replay.
, Tatum presents his debut bursting with nostalgia, from it’s jangle-pop heavy tracklist to his lyrical lamentations of youth and past love, he flaunts the Micey hooks and lush MBV guitar tones with admiration instead of imitation. Tatum seems to understand that he’s not being all that original and doesn’t seem too concerned. Good considering his greatest strength it is how he expands the sound. The dainty twee melodies and shoegazer accents are brought up from their trebly roots, Tatum infusing his music with a distinct warmth; deep bass lines that keep the songs grounded regardless of how adamant they are about floating away. Almost Disintegration -esque
in the execution and much like the Cure, Tatum embellishes his woozy syths and wispy vocals on Gemini
with cavernous production -- the whole album sounds greater than the sum of it’s parts. This doesn’t feel like a one man project, but a fully fleshed out long player crafted by a few reasonably talented musicians; not some dude out in Virginia with a lot of time, a big heart and some forlorn desire for the ‘good ol’days’ of twee. But again, when playing with nostalgia as your backdrop, that should be the whole point. Wild Nothing don’t just present a debut dripping with the jangly pop and dreamy melodies of old, but one that makes you forget that was ever any time in between. Which is the point of all good homage’s, to take us back, to remember why something was so good in the first place, not why we’ve since forgotten. Gemini
thankfully is a blissful breeze backwards in time, but one that feels more progressive with each spin.