Wild Nothing – Gemini (Captured Tracks) (31/05/2010)
May 31, 2010 by Bernt Olav Thorsheim
What I find nostalgic will probably not coincide with what you find nostalgic, but even though we might disagree, I think we both can be able to spot the nostalgic elements on Wild Nothing’s début album Gemini, released on Captured Tracks. It’s interesting to see how such an individual emotion can be so easily recognizable in certain music.
Jack Tatum, the man behind Wild Nothing, certainly has a flair for evoking these yearning emotions in his synth pop songs. The opening song on the album, ‘Live in Dreams’, is a perfect example. Between sweet synth melodies Tatum sings with a wonderful, maybe even naïve voice; “our lips won’t last forever, and that’s exactly why, I’d rather live in dreams”.
The album continues with the fittingly named Summer Holiday, a song earlier released on 7′ inch as a single. It’s definitely one of the highlights of the album, with it’s driving guitar riff and catchy melody.
Tatum has crafted together a really cool sound, made up from pop influenced guitar and synths, with a layer of ambient sound effects and topped off with the aforementioned nostalgic element. It all works really well together, and it creates a wonderful layered sound, exemplified on ‘Confirmation’, with its uplifting bass melody and heavy synth sound. Tatum shifts between the shoegazy and the painfully catchy all through the album, with tracks like ‘Bored Games’ and ‘My Angel Lonely’ ending up in the first category, while ‘O, Lilac’ and the superb ‘Chinatown’ end up in the other. The video for the latter song, ‘Chinatown’, is also worth a mention. Made up from scenes from a short film from the 60s featuring a boy and his dog running around in the streets of Paris, it is the perfect visualization of the song.
Tatum distinguishes himself by taking the bedroom producer sound a step further, by creating a thick, layered soundscape with great attention to detail. This album, together with the new Beach Fossils album, also released on Captured Tracks, stands out as favourites in the competition in becoming my summer soundtrack this year.