Today’s featured song is from one of the most talked about albums of 2010. A lot of people put Gemini by Wild Nothing in their year-end top ten lists. I didn’t. It’s a good album, but I just didn’t feel the buzz that everyone else was getting from it. I tried and I tried, but my response to it is the same as some reviews that I’ve read. It’s great in chunks, but a hard sell as a whole.
Wild Nothing started in 2009 as a dream-pop solo project of Blacksburg, Virginia native Jack Tatum. He had been in some Blacksburg bands, and wanted to do something else. He recorded a couple of demos, including a cover of Kate Bush’s song “Cloudbusting”, which caught a lot of people’s attention. Not long after that, he signed a deal with Brooklyn shoegaze and dreampop-centric label Captured Tracks.
While Wild Nothing is still generally regarded as a one-man operation, Tatum has recruited three band members for the purposes of touring with a full band.
The debut album — Gemini won a lot of acclaim. Over at Pitchfork Media, Ian Cohen (who normally hates every album not named Pinkerton) gave it an 8.2 out of 10. That’s noteworthy, because he typically gives everything a score of 7.2 or less. I mean, what kind of pretentious asshole uses the phrase “sonic verisimilitude” in a record review? Ian Cohen. That’s who.
Stereogum rated Gemini at #9 in their “Top 50 albums of 2010” list. Many of my friends, neighbors and colleagues had them similarly in their top tens.
Anyway, today’s featured song is one of the ones that really works for me. It’s about being young and being in love. This is that song:
“Summer Holiday” by Wild Nothing
Right from the drop, it has a late Velocity Girl-type sound to it. I love that. You know. After they quit being so noisy. Not that I dislike the noise. To the contrary. Just that they were almost a completely different band. Anyway, there’s that. And it’s such a bubbly, bright, “summery” song. I like it quite a bit.
Then there’s the lyrics. It makes reference to visiting with parents of a significant other and being forced to sleep in separate rooms. We’ve all been in that boat before when we were younger, and we all did what they do in the song.
We’re driving to your parents house just for a visit
And I’m sleeping in your brother’s bed
Won’t you sneak into my room and climb under the covers
Talk nonsense in your sleep
Like I said, I didn’t put Gemini in my favorite 15 non-Canadian records of 2010 list. Not that it was a perfect list, mind you. Gemini has grown on me with repeated listens, and I can recommend it to people. I’m just not sure, even with the benefit of hindsight, that I’d put it in my 2010 year-end list.
That said, it is an album worth having. You should buy it in your choice of physical formats or digital from the Captured Tracks web store.
Also, be on the lookout for the sophomore album Nocturne, scheduled for release on August 28. Details of that record are here.