Wild Nothing: Empty Estate
After the critically acclaimed LP Nocturne, musician Jack Tatum returns with his band Wild Nothing for the trippy, strange EP Empty Estate. The seven songs contained herein are at once nostalgic while offering something new and unusual.
“The Body in Rainfall” features layered vocals, the deeper of which features hints of David Bowie. Grooving keyboards complement the distorted guitar work, creating the most immediate track on this EP. “Ocean Repeating (Big-Eyed Girl)” is funky and smooth, though I can’t think of many women who would want to be remembered in song as someone’s “big-eyed girl.” This is followed by “On Guyot,” which, like “Hachiko,” is totally instrumental. It put me in the mind of druggy carousel music, while “Hachiko” is quieter, evoking the beach.
“Ride” feels heavily influenced by ‘80s rock and Krautrock, and the quick synthetic beat and keyboards go well with the song’s title. “Data World” has the most poignant lyrics of the EP, with insights such as “Live in front of screens all you want now/We are the maximized ones.” Finally, “A Dancing Shell” is actually as dance-worthy as the name implies, with Talking Heads-like delivery and groove.
There isn’t much to unify the EP as a whole other than it all feels a bit stoned. Still, as an EP, it’s a brilliant chance to explore different ideas, and chances are that if the next Wild Nothing album includes any of these songs, it will be off to a great start.