With the first listen of ‘Nowhere’, you wonder whether Wild Nothing’s sophomore album will be like what Father, Son, Holy Ghost was to San Francisco band Girls; a mature progression from the bedroom to the studio, and a record that took huge influence from - but didn’t pastiche - rock music of the past.
Whilst the track doesn’t lose the charm of Wild Nothing mastermind Jack Tatum’s lo-fi debut Gemini, it does find itself exploring new territory in the uninhabited space between alternative country and jangle pop, replacing synths with harmonicas and slide guitars. One new addition (a temporary one, nonetheless) is Andrea Estella, singer of dream pop outfit Twin Sister. Although in this new context Estella’s vocals are haunting and subdued (as opposed to bubbly and upbeat), her dulcet tongue-rolled tones are not misplaced. In fact, her presence helps fulfil Tatum’s ambition for dreaminess and ambience. Whilst his debut layered noise after noise to achieve its hazy shoegaze aura, the approach on ‘Nowhere’ is more literal, as Estella sings; “in the dreams, and dreams, I wake you up”.
Tatum’s influences still seem to be the same as those for Gemini (C86, shoegaze), but his sound is polished and his ambitions newly set. From the sounds of ‘Nowhere’, it’s fair to say he’s got quite a bit to live up to.
By William Hall