Wild Nothing is the name Jack Tatum, formerly of Jack and the Whale and Facepaint, uses for his musical endeavors, which began as shimmery, synth-washed indie pop in the summer of 2009.
Starting with an early batch of demos that included a glimmering cover of Kate Bush's "Cloudbusting," Tatum embarked on a career devoted to pairing his tender melodies with soft, echoing musical backing and his whisper-intimate vocals. After a couple albums and EPs spent honing this template to near perfection -- especially on 2012's Nocturne -- Tatum branched out into a more mature and well-produced version of the sound on 2016's Life of Pause and slick '80s territory on 2018's Indigo.
Captured Tracks picked up Wild Nothing soon after the project's first demos came out in 2009, and it wasn't long before Tatum recruited bassist Jeff Haley, guitarist Nathan Goodman, and drummer Max Brooks to round out the group's live sound. Wild Nothing's first single, Summer Holiday, was released on Captured Tracks before 2009 came to a close. The band's debut full-length, Gemini, was released in the spring of 2010 and garnered Wild Nothing all kinds of critical acclaim. After releasing a follow-up EP, Golden Haze, near the end of 2010, Captured Tracks reissued Gemini in February 2011 with the addition of Tatum's cover of Kate Bush's "Cloudbusting."
For his next record, Tatum worked with producer Nicolas Vernhes at his Rare Book Room Studios. The result was 2012's Nocturne album. Another stopgap EP arrived in 2013 in the form of the stylistically scattered Empty Estate. After a move to Los Angeles and some time spent rethinking his musical approach, Tatum and producer Thom Monahan began working on 2016's Life of Pause album. Recorded in Sweden (with contributions from Peter Bjorn and John drummer John Ericsson and marimba player TK of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra) and Los Angeles (with Medicine guitarist Brad Laner), Life of Pause's intricate arrangements and slick production marked a step forward artistically for Wild Nothing.
Always reexamining his process, Tatum decided to switch things up on 2018's Indigo. After carefully constructing demos himself, he spent four days at L.A.'s Sunset Sound studio with drummer Cam Allen and guitarist Benji Lysaght doing live versions of the songs. Next, he and producer Jorge Elbrecht spent time adding new parts and layering in sounds from the original demos. The result was the most carefully arranged and '80s-influenced Wild Nothing album yet, while also being one of their most intimate. In January 2020, the Laughing Gas EP collected five songs left over from the Indigo sessions. ~ Fred Thomas, Rovi