Hold by Wild Nothing album review by Adam Fink for Northern Transmissions. Their full-length drops on October 27th via Captured Tracks



Wild Nothing

There is a certain thread tying together much of the new music that is coming out now. Many of these artists were writing and recording their albums during lockdowns, fully immersed in the isolation of the pandemic. For Jack Tatum aka Wild Nothing it was these factors that consumed him during the creation of his new album Hold, out October 27th everywhere via Captured Tracks, but it was also the combination of leaving his life in Los Angeles for his original hometown of Richmond, Virginia and the birth of his first child.

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You would imagine that this quadruple whammy of huge events would’ve caused the new Wild Nothing songs to be introspective and intimate but on Hold, Tatum has embraced a pop maximalism that transcends even his past work. While he may have worked on an even bigger canvas than he had previously, the lyrical content of the songs featured here add a dichotomy to the record’s huge production. On the album, Tatum explores tough times in his own relationship, the unease of issues like climate change and the personal regret that is involved in making huge life changes. It’s heartfelt and personal all while being a non stop hook fest worthy of the poppiest of Tatum’s 80s influences.

You can really hear Tatum’s embrace of the dichotomy between his music and lyrics on tracks like the album’s single “Headlights On”. Kicking off with a smooth synth pad and Tatum’s vocals up front and centre before it really kicks off with a very 90’s acid house/New Jack Swing metallic breakbeat that is absolutely irresistible. Between all the song’s huge production, Tatum explores what calls the hardest time he and his wife have had in their relationship. It makes for an interesting listen, depending on your own headspace. Something that you can lose yourself to at a club or curl up and dissolve into yourself with a pair of headphones at home. This style of songwriting is a big part of the album’s appeal. On “Suburban Solutions”, a song that kicks off like a lost 80s banger, Tatum sings about some of the worries he had about making the move from LA to Virginia. Over a head bopping kick drum and some fun vocal processing, Tatum sings forbiddingly, “Suburban Solutions has our back/We’ve come to the end, put up your feet/We’ve come to the end” and it’s as unnerving as it is cathartic.

Wild Nothing has always embraced a big pop production mixed with personal lyrics and on Hold he takes this to its highest level. The album sounds huge and beautiful, Tatum’s vocals are front and centre and the whole endeavour is mixed to perfection. At the same time, it is one of those albums that when you really begin to listen it unearths a universal emotion and it’s this trait that will keep it in your personal rotation for a long time to come.

Pre-order Hold by Wild Nothing HERE


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