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Wild Nothing – Nocturne (Captured Tracks)

18 August 2012

Wild Nothing burst onto the indie scene in 2010 with a series of singles, EPs, and, ultimately, their debut album for Captured Tracks, the serene Gemini. All very similar, all very eighties dream pop. With their sophomore LP, Nocturne, they give us almost the exact same album, at least for the first half. That’s not to say that this isn’t a solid release because it is. The band channels New Order to perfection with “Midnight Song,” and even add a jangly wrinkle. The album’s title track is certainly a highlight also. As with the other standout tracks on the album, frontman Jack Tatum leans toward the higher vocal register and the slightly hushed singing really accentuates the dreamy atmosphere. The main exception being on “Only Heather”, where Tatum adopts a spot-on Jim Reid croon. The apex of the album comes right on the heels of “Heather,” with “This Chain Won’t Break,”. The track is in the same family as the rest of Wild Nothing’s work but it’s like the eccentric prodigy of that family. It is one of the best songs I’ve heard this year, for sure. It also really begins the departure that is the second half of Nocturne. “Paradise,” delivers some Duran Duran riffing and drumming along with some ethereal keyboards to create an interesting and unlikely harmony. Nifty palm muted riffs, a Prince-like synthline, and even a xylophone pepper the last three tracks of the album and add some additional texture to the band’s sonic milieu. Just when you thought the dream pop revival was getting stale, Wild Nothing shakes it all up.