Today’s Song: Wild Nothing Pushes the Limits in Reflective Track “Prima” Off New LP ‘Hold’

Wild Nothing's Jack Tatum © Ethan Hickerson
Wild Nothing's Jack Tatum © Ethan Hickerson
Jack Tatum’s Wild Nothing has never quite been about just one thing, one approach to music, and Tatum pushes his own boundaries with ‘Hold,’ the first self-produced Wild Nothing LP since his 2010 debut, ‘Gemini.’
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Stream: ‘Hold’ – Wild Nothing

What comes to mind when one thinks of Wild Nothing?

The moniker of Jack Tatum’s long-running indie outfit captures a varied sonic template – the breezy indie rock stylings of “Chinatown” or “Shadow,” both off critically acclaimed early 2010s LPs, the zippy, retro pop of 2018 LP Indigo and now, an alluring, neon-tinged track like “Prima.”

The song is the final standout off last week’s just-released album Hold, which was also bolstered by clever singles like “Suburban Solutions,” a track which even inspired its own wine (developed by New York Finger Lakes natural winery Osmote Wines with Tatum).



Hold - Wild Nothing
Hold – Wild Nothing

A new wine and a new LP with an exclusive vinyl?

Two nice additions to any music enthusiast or wine lover’s collection.

As to the music itself, Tatum continues to mine the past for retro sounds and use his own deft touch to move seamlessly between decades – there’s a streamlined, sleek feel to the LP and other tracks, including the dream pop appeal of Hatchie-featuring single “Headlights On.”

It’s getting late, I’m tripping in the dark
My shirt draped over the moon
I’m just trying to hold on to you
I leave my headlights on
I only feel like myself at night
Don’t always treat you right, but
I don’t know how to be subtle with
All the things I hate about myself
You try to calm me and I turn away,
I always turn away
I don’t know why I have to be this way
I’d rather not be so hard to love
I f’ed it up, I f’ed it up again
Was there even a chance I could change?
Or am I resolute to stay the same?

Wild Nothing's Jack Tatum © Ethan Hickerson
Wild Nothing’s Jack Tatum © Ethan Hickerson

There’s nothing quite as airy or light about “Prima,” a more moody offering that showcases Tatum’s penchant for blurring the lines between retro synths and modern bedroom pop-type stylings.

Tatum’s musings throughout the track sound as mysterious as the music itself – the world around Tatum seems to come in and out of focus, as he sings “I never thought we’d meet again, but here I am.”

Throughout, Tatum even seems to be singing through a faraway blur, or perhaps just a flickering neon light on the night skyline.

“There’s something deep inside, where everyone is a stranger,” Tatum continues, noting that “the music rushes in my head, coursing out to my hands.”

The crowd a blur before my face
A shadow cast upon the lake
My arms stretched out, spinning in place
I used to walk on water
Wild Nothing's Jack Tatum © Ethan Hickerson
Wild Nothing’s Jack Tatum © Ethan Hickerson

The track takes on an atmospheric and dream-like quality, a pleasing evolution and a continued change of pace from Tatum’s guitar-driven earlier work.

The song (recorded, like the rest of the LP, in Richmond at Montrose Recording & Empty Estate) is complemented nicely by drums and percussion from Spacebomb House Band’s Pinson Chanelle, one of a host of collaborators on the album.

It’s still very much a team effort with Wild Nothing, but Tatum’s return to self-producing his work shows that he’s hardly stuck in place and not content to rest on his laurels.

That more recent tracks off genre-blurring albums like Indigo tend to come across seamlessly in a live setlist (as seen by this writer in 2019) makes for a very pleasant experience indeed – it’s the Wild Nothing you know and love, just more evolved.

Wild Nothing's Jack Tatum © Ethan Hickerson
Wild Nothing’s Jack Tatum © Ethan Hickerson

Time will tell as to how the new LP slots into Tatum’s pleasingly structured setlists, but fans won’t have to wait long: The Wild Nothing Fall 2023 Tour kicks off on November 9th in Washington, DC:

Nov 09 – Washington DC – 9:30 Club*
Nov 10 – Philadelphia, PA – World Cafe Live*
Nov 11 – Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall of Williamsburg*
Nov 12 – Norfolk, VA – The NorVA*
Nov 14 – Los Angeles, CA – Fonda Theatre^
Nov 15 – San Francisco, CA – Independent^
Nov 17 – San Diego, CA – Quartyard^
Nov 18 – Santa Ana, CA – Observatory^
Nov 20 – Chicago, IL – House of Blues^
*JW Francis || ^Zzzahara

Keep an eye out for Tatum & co. heading to a city near you, and uncover the enthralling mystery at the core of tracks like “Prima” and the rest of wonderful new record Hold!

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Stream: “Prima” – Wild Nothing

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? © Ethan Hickerson

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