It’s been over three years since the long distant nostalgia of Nocturne, and twice as much since the sun kissed golden youth of Jack Tatum’s debut Gemini, and yet it feels like a lifetime: it feels like the time of adolescence, within which each day had its own cycle of seasons, of bliss and despair. The adult age has inevitably and inexorably wiped out that dreamy look headed towards an ever blue sky, and made way for disillusionment and an intense realism. Throughout these years all those glimmers of fear, those hints of pain have turned into a fully-formed consciousness, into the eyes of a grown-up man.
It is clearly the final step towards a both personal and musical growth, which has reached the eventual chapter of youth: it is a dreamer’s acknowledgment of a life that is not matching expectations, and yet is still fulfilling and surprising. Each emotion is more intense, each sound is fuller and more rounded, as when eyes are wide open after a dazzling sun light forced them to squint, and the colors look brighter and vivid. The approach towards all aspects of life is more mature, that sweet and slight naivety has faded.
Life of pause reconfirms Wild Nothing‘s gentleness and sensitivity, but also reveals an unprecedented maturity, both in terms of lyrics and music: the minimalistic tunes, often extremely simple and filled with youthful ingenuity, linger on, though popping up from a mightier structure, a more solid vocal framework, built over more articulated melodies, to witness the continuity within individual progression. “To know you” thus works as a bridge between the dreamy and the real, with its filling synths and its sustained rhythm, just as “Reichpop” gently introduces us into sparkles of sounds that suddenly stand out through a continuous and smooth series of folds. The whole singing sounds more complete, so to say, confident to speak out, even when it comes to doubts and uncertainty, as in “Life of pause“, or “TV queen“, where with a hint of sensuality we feel the dilemma of an unresolved love. Such a sensuality is though even more intense in “A woman’s wisdom“: reminiscence of 80’s and 90’s post-rock flow as across dark silk, writhing amongst slow guitars and a low voluptuous voice.
But the probably most interesting track is “Alien“, where Tatum explores a dark and sort of twisted side of his mind in a mighty and tragic melody, repeating in a continuous distorting atmosphere, like in a floating recurring nightmare.
Wild Nothing’s sensitivity has not changed, but their narrative has: that joy that seemed once so close ahead, now seems a distant memory, out of reach, and what stays is the prosaic reality of life.