Wild Nothing’s return back to the 9:30 Club on November 18th was their first time headlining the beloved venue, and they made sure to show their gratitude in the form of a surreal, atmospheric 90 minute-long set.
10. Deerhunter – Monomania
When not in various side projects, the members that make the Atlanta five-piece write under the prolific name Deerhunter. With that said, Bradford Cox and his group have recorded a true garage rock classic that would make T. Rex proud. Standouts like “T.H.M.” and “Monomania” show the band leaning back toward the gritty feel of Cryptograms as apposed to their dreamy previous piece, Halcyon Digest.
9. Fuck Buttons – Slow Focus
The London duo have produced quite the aggressive album for the 2013 summer. With everything from retro-gaming synths (Prince’s Prize) to chainsaw-house beats by way of Portishead (The Red Wing), Fuck Buttons have made another contribution to the electronic world after a stint of producing for the London Olympics.
8. Wild Nothing - Empty Estate EP
Jack Tatum has always referenced his love for 80’s dream pop but no album has come as close to that scene as Empty Estate. Tatum has stated that this EP finds him experimenting with new sounds (or at least new to him) and rightfully so. “A Dancing Shell” is the first time you’ll hear a sax in a Tatum-penned song.
10. Cayucas - Bigfoot
Still searching for the best soundtrack to your summer? Bigfoot is it. From happy-go-lucky opening track “Cayucos” to eponymous album closer “Bigfoot,” Cayucas present eight catchy, summery tunes sure to make your next vacation playlist. And hey, they might put you in such a good mood that you’ll forget about the sweltering heat!
9. Rhye - Woman
Three months after its release, Woman's sensual, eargasm-inducing first track "Open" still blows me away upon each listen. "Open," along with about four other tracks, including "The Fall" and "3 Days," serve as the album's highlights while the remainder are forgettable. Yet, Woman is such a short album that it is easy to listen to on repeat before realizing you have been doing so for hours. With the seductiveness of Woman and their mysteriousness, Rhye have made an impression on the music world, but only time will tell if they stick around long enough to do it again with a second release.
8. Savages - Silence Yourself
This is not yet an album to which I can sing along word-for-word (as tends to be the case with my favorites), but Savages’ debut is almost too in-your-face and harsh for that. Savages are more about the statement they are making through their music and live performances. Between writing manifestos and mandating no phone usage at shows, the ladies of Savages are sure to calculate the band’s each and every move. One thing’s for certain – their abrasiveness has taken the music world by storm and provided a necessary, refreshing realness.
SOUNDS LIKE: It should have been used in an ‘80s Mac commercial.
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE: Jack Tatum is an overlooked musical genius.
There was a time not long ago when you'd hear a great song like "Shadow" from Wild Nothing's sophomore record Nocturne either on your local college radio station or on the Dave Kendall-hosted version of MTV's 120 Minutes, sandwiched in between songs by Kitchens of Distinction and the Church. Wow,” you'd think, “what a great jangly little ‘alternative’ song; since I like the Smiths AND the Sundays I should go to a ‘record store’ and buy a ‘CD’ of their music.
Today, though, you likely heard about Wild Nothing on the internet because of their fantastic debut record Gemini, streamed or downloaded their stuff (legally or illegally) and thought, man, they really capture that C86 sound I've read about in the history books.
The point is in recent years many bands have tried to emulate that mid-to-late 80s ethereal brand of music that would eventually become dream pop. There are many good ones, but none have hit the nail on the head quite as precisely as Wild Nothing.