Synth-pop, strings, haunting vocals…these are the hallmarks of Nocturne, the sophomore release from Jack Tatum under the banner of Wild Nothing. The musical sensibilities of Tatum seem to far outstrip his barely two decades of life.
Nocturne seems to be a rather aptly named release. The album, from beginning to end, is one that is filled with themes of dreams, night time, and moonlight. There is a consistency here that points to a well executed and thought out concept. It is a concept that effortlessly draws in and engages the listener. Coupled with some slick production values, it is an impressive step up from Wild Nothing’s previous effort.
Shadow is the opening track and it feels like an opening. What I found really compelling was the smooth bass line. Strong and smooth, it grabs the attention and adds great support to the clear guitar progression and melodies. When Tatum’s vocals do enter they are understated and soft and work to never jar or distract the listener. Though the whole album is a solid effort, Shadow, really might be the best track on Nocturne.
Don’t think that that is the only song worth listening to. ThroughThe Grass is a great number that shows some vocal hooks that are catchy as hell and great guitar work (which oddly reminds me of Queensryche’s Silent Lucidity). The percussion work of Break The Chains is damn near hypnotic and serves as a great musical foundation. The title track of the album itself is a strong number that opens with a great guitar riff before it leads into the haunting vocals.
Tatum uses Nocturne to showcase some serious songwriting chops. The sophistication and subtlety of his compositions displays an understanding of his craft that seems fairly surprising for his age and for only being on his second album. The banner of Wild Nothing is one that that Tatum is making strong and I am eager to see what he can come up with next.