If you heard the first Wild Nothing album, you might be a little surprised by album #2. 2010’s gorgeous, moody Gemini was recorded by Jack Tatum in his bedroom, and while new Nocturne maintains the atmospheric and emotional core of its predecessor, it’s got a bit more muscle to it.
It’s not a huge surprise – the album was recorded after some intensive touring, during which Wild Nothing became an actual band – but Tatum’s quick to point out that “it’s still just me – well I played everything on the record expect for drums, and I think that really was the big difference between the two records, aside from just the production value.”
He hesitates at the suggestion that there’s value in keeping Wild Nothing as a studio entity separate to the touring band.
“It’s not necessarily that I like having this distinction but I guess there is a certain amount of control that I tend to put upon my music,” he begins, hesitantly. “It’s not because I’m like so against letting other people into, you know, my process or something it’s just I’ve been writing music since I was 15 or 16 years old and I kind of grew up in an environment where I didn’t know a lot of other kids playing music so I’ve always just done things on my own.
“If I wanted to write a song I would have to write all the parts because I didn’t know anybody else and I was interested in that and I was interested in recording and song writing, and I just kind of got in this habit of doing everything myself. And so even still to this day, besides from this project, I’ve never been in a collaborative band situation, so it’s kind of just like what I know and what I’m used to.”
Does this mean that album number three could bring the two incarnations closer together?
“Well, the lines are more and more getting burred for us and for me,” he admits. “When I think about Wild Nothing, it’s sort of strange that even though I make all the music it feels like a band to me. I feel very close with all the other members and I feel like its totally a different representation of my own songs when everyone else kind of gets their hands on it.”
It wasn’t easy getting to this level of comfort either. “The band was born out of necessity. Around the same time that [Gemini] was coming out we started playing our first shows and so it was definitely terrifying at first. I think it is such a cliché of our generation: there are so many people that start this way now. It’s becoming more and more common for someone like myself to write these songs in the bedroom and then suddenly find themselves in this sort of public arena without a clue – and that totally was my experience in 2009.”
If the debut wasn’t encumbered by the limitations of the stage, Nocturne sounds like an album made to be played live.
“Yeah, absolutely – that’s one thing with all the songs on the new record, and there is a lot of moments I had envisioned playing the song [live]. And ‘Nocturne’ itself is a very upbeat song and has I guess one of the bigger hooks on the album,” Tatum enthuses. “It’s a little bit more upbeat and fun to play – and there’s a certain physicality to it.”
Wild Nothing also play the Toff, Tue Mar 12.