For those not familiar with the backstory, Wild Nothing is the project of young Jack Tatum, a former Virginia Tech student whose dreamy bedroom recordings went from Myspace anonymity to the epicenter of the Internet hype machine back in 2009. For Nocturne, Tatum’s second full-length as Wild Nothing, the lo-fi trappings of being, well, a poor college student on a laptop get ditched for some truly beautiful production techniques. Opening track “Shadow” kicks things off with a bright and catchy guitar hook, Tatum’s gentle-as-a-breeze voice sitting just above the mix. Sweeping strings color and propel each of Nocturne’s wistful orchestrations; “Through the Grass” mixes them with an anthemic synth line à la Journey, while “Paradise” plays them off a reverb-heavy, ’80s-esque vocal lead. Why it works especially well here is simple: Tatum writes airtight, hook-filled, strikingly diverse pop jams. And stripped of their fuzz and warble, they’re able to shine like the gems they are.


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