By Brandon Weigel
Friday, September 21, 2012
Right from the opening chords, Wild Nothing’s sophomore album, “Nocturne,” draws you in with a warm, familiar jangle and Jack Tatum’s lithe vocals.
That first track, “Shadow,” manages to be efficient and precise, even as Tatum finds a way to layer in orchestral strings by the song’s end. Most important, it’s incredibly catchy.
That songcraft and quality writing pervades “Nocturne,” making for an album that’s arresting but also playful, with each track tightly wound and punchy. Tatum certainly knows his way around writing a great hook, but it’s the structure and flawless guitar sound that demands repeat listens.
“Midnight Song” sounds like a creation from hazy-day New Jersey indie rockers Real Estate that has been scrunched into a sprightly, concise pop tune. The bright, full instrumentation of the power-pop track “Only Heather” conveys more than enough feeling as Tatum sings in a somewhat monotonic murmur: “She has got something that I never know / I couldn’t explain it, I wouldn’t even try / She is so lovely, she makes me feel high.”
There are countless bands trying to channel the ’80s English jangle-pop found in Wild Nothing’s sound. But few do it so well.