Nocturne is Wild Nothing’s, or one man pop band Jack Tatum’s, sophomore album and expectations were high. The album is true to Wild Nothing form featuring warm, layered synth melodies accompanying gentle, airy harmonies from Tatum. But this album is more refined and sophisticated in its orchestration, composition and production.
Nocturne opens with the album’s first single, “Shadow,” a rhythmic and up-tempo yet hazy and celestial track with a driving bass line. Third in-line is the titular track “Nocturne” which conveys the overall theme and mood (and hence, the title) for the album. Shimmery, moody, esoteric and sultry, full of shadows and half-light. Nocturne makes you long for hot, humid summer nights when anything is possible. The album crescendos with tracks “Only Heather,” a nostalgic popped-up 80s love song with a killer beat, and “This Chain Won’t Break,” is tinged with adolescent heart-break and longing with melodic synths.
The album is a solid, dreamy pop album from start to finish, which is, ultimately, what Tatum set out to accomplish. Nocturne is devoid of any real stand-out anthemic track; there are no “Golden Haze” esque gems to play on repeat. The tracks are subtle and melt from one to the next, much like the phases of the moon. But its subtlety is its virtue.
Tatum has said that with Wild Nothing he hopes to create a “sense of what pop music used to be or even what pop music would be in my ideal world.” We’re putting our faith in Tatum to lead the charge and reinterpret pop music for the masses. Based on this album, he’s got great things ahead.