Sunday, July 17, 2011

Golden Haze EP - Wild Nothing (SUMMER 2011)

Golden Haze EP

Wild Nothing
Captured Tracks Records.

SCQ Rating: 70%

Jack Tatum clearly isn’t the sort to sit on his hands long. Instead of basking in the afterglow of Gemini, his 2010 debut, Tatum issued the Golden Haze EP not six months later. Pretty impressive, considering the one-man band’s origins only stem as far back as late 2009.

This EP, compiled of a rare release and some b-sides, retains the songwriter’s attachment to the 80s zeitgeist – particularly the scene that saw Cocteau Twins and The Smiths rise into cult favourites – but quibbles less with Gemini’s retro limitations. Thin production sensibilities play their part over ‘Take Me In’ and ‘Your Rabbit Feet’ but Golden Haze’s highlights communicate the same vintage arrangements with a modernist’s sleekness. ‘Quiet Hours’ runs on that premium petrol, its drum-machine gears pronounced with an added flair, although it’s eclipsed by ‘Vultures Like Lovers’, which exists between the reverb-drenched staccato rhythms that melt guitar, beats and Tatum’s voice into a euphoric vapor that recalls Merriweather Post Pavilion era Animal Collective.

Unsurprisingly, Wild Nothing’s tying together of rejected one-offs and confident late additions doesn’t quite gel; in fact, Golden Haze EP doesn’t even manage to stabilize the polarizing changes in volume between the two groups. But none of that negates the casual rush of Tatum’s ear-catching melodies and grooves, which remain just as tight and satisfying on this EP as on Gemini. Wild Nothing was wise enough to unleash his debut on the cusp of summer, ensuring it would soundtrack many humid nights. For fans who arrived late to this songwriter: Golden Haze EP represents a second chance to do summer right.

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