Wild Nothing – “A Dancing Shell”

Wild Nothing - Empty Estate

Personally, Wild Nothing was my most memorable find last year. Their promising debut Gemini slipped by me in 2010, but Nocturne was as good of introduction as any. It showed  Jack Tatum’s songwriting is an absolute blast from the past, full of jangly hooks and atmospheric dream-pop beauty that so many bands today attempt to emulate but often flail in the process. Wild Nothing’s second full-length, Nocturne, was my second favorite album last year — behind only Tame Impala’s Lonerism. It’s not often a band comes out of nowhere to mesmerize. With that in mind, I’m accustomed to artists taking some time off after a huge breakthrough success like Nocturne, but it appears Tatum and crew are back at ’em with an EP, Empty Estate, to be released on May 14th. Score!

Captured Tracks just unveiled Wild Nothing’s single from the EP, “A Dancing Shell”, yesterday. Recorded at Brooklyn’s Gary’s Electric by Al Carlson in January, “A Dancing Shell” begins with a gradual fade-in of wavey percussion and chirping keys, quickly accompanied by a whiring synth arpeggio, slick guitar riffs, and the joyously bustling post-punk bass displayed prominently throughout Nocturne. Tatum’s vocals begin almost similarly to spoken word, transitioning to a more melodic croon when the synth arpeggio re-emerges. Some charismastic, avant-garde brass accompaniments appear after the two-minute mark, as if Destroyer and Wild Nothing collaborated on some dizzying starchild. “A Dancing Shell” is a fairly low-key effort that rides more on a trailing atmosphere than in-your-face hooks, like on “Nocturne” or “Chinatown“, but it’s a memorable effort nonetheless. As if I needed anything else to get me pumped for the upcoming Wild Nothing EP…

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Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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