The summer stone fruit salad that is featured on eating/sf today is fresh, light and summery. It is flush full of flavor and feels surprisingly substantial. Today’s pairing is an album that is similarly fresh, light and summery – and an album that also feels substantial: Wild Nothing‘s Gemini. Wild Nothing is the solo project of Virginia’s Jack Tatum, and his debut was just released on Captured Tracks. The album is a smooth blend of nostalgia-inducing synth, treble-washed guitar riffs, and crisp drum-machines. Words like “hazy,” “dreamy,” and “nostalgia” have been getting a lot of play in describing bedroom recording artists recently, but make no mistake, Wild Nothing has more in common with 80’s pop music than with chillwave.
Album opener “Live In Dreams” is crisp, but atmospheric. It’s a moody cut, but romantic rather than lovelorn: “Our lips won’t last forever and that’s exactly why / I’d rather live in dreams / and I’d rather die.” Similarly, fleshed out with an 1980’s-esque guitar shimmer and airy backing vocals, the track “Summer Holiday” floats by like a high school teen daze. Indeed, most of the album’s cuts will remind you of some favorite 80’s tunes, but to Tantum’s credit, they do so without feeling like simple imitation or throw-back. At worst, Gemini sounds like what-could-have-been: imagine the Cure, My Bloody Valentine or the Smiths digging deeper into haziness and lo-fi production while dampening the guitars in the mix, crafting a more spacious sound stage that results in an ambiance that feels textured but not dense. “O, Lilac” is one of the first-half’s catchier and bouncier tunes alongside the neon-soaked, drum-machine adorned “Bored Games.” The LP’s side two opens with the bass-driven and deep-synth shine of “Confirmation.” The intricately textured “Chinatown” and sly “Our Composition Book” are both personal favorites for their care-free upbeat melodies. The album is available in a limited edition, silk-screened, individually numbered, clear-vinyl version. However, the limited edition version is only available from Amoeba – San Francisco, Other Music – NYC, Escalator – Japan, and Rough Trade – UK. As of yesterday Amoeba in San Francisco still had copies.
Head back to eating/sf to read the recipe for the summer stone fruit salad.