Song of the Day: Wild Nothing - TV Queen

Song of the Day
03/16/2016
Jacob Webb
photo by Shawn Brackbill

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJ’s think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on the Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is “TV Queen” by Wild Nothing from their 2016 album, Life Of Pause, on Captured Tracks.

Wild Nothing - TV Queen (MP3)

Although it started as a bedroom diversion for the then-college student, Jack Tatum has turned Wild Nothing into a full-on studio project and live band built to bring his vivid, gauzy tunes to life. Tatum's first recordings under the moniker emerged at the beginning of the 2010s, when his 2010 debut Gemini became a surprise critical hit. Tatum recruited bandmates to take the songs on the road and took his new songs into a proper studio for the first time for 2012's Nocturne. After the conclusion to the lengthy tour behind Nocturne, Tatum relocated to Los Angeles, where he began work on his third LP. Partially recorded in Sweden in an effort to push himself out of his comfort zone, Tatum succeeds in pushing Wild Nothing's musical boundaries on this year's Life of Pause. Although there's some of Tatum's trademark shimmer in "TV Queen", he sounds completely immersed in a newfound style that prioritizes arrangement over texture, leading to one of his most immediate and grabbing tunes to date. Before Tatum loses himself in a synthesized whirlwind ode to the titular woman, "TV Queen" bursts out of the gate with a briskness that Tatum had never fully utilized up to this point, moving at a pace that gives just enough space for Tatum's vivid keyboards to bounce off the airtight rhythm section. Although not a particularly hook-filled track, "TV Queen" ranks among Tatum's catchiest work, using his kinetic sense of arrangement to power its dream-like potency.

Wild Nothing bring Life of Pause to Seattle this spring when they play the Crocodile on April 25. Ahead of that show though, they'll be LIVE on KEXP Monday, April 25, 2016, at 1:00 PM PST. Get tickets and more info on that all ages show here, keep up with the band on their website and Facebook, and watch the band play "Only Heather" live on KEXP at CMJ 2012.

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