Wild Nothing pays tribute to one of the best
Any song with the word "reich" in the title sounds like a touchy subject that is maybe best avoided. Much to everyone's relief, Wild Nothing's new track "Reichpop" is simply a nod to legendary minimalist composer Steve Reich. Wild Nothing sounds like a five piece band, which it is during live performances, but the vast majority of their music is composed and recorded by Jack Tatum of Blacksburg, Virginia. Much of Tatum's work is influenced by the artists he is personally listening to at the time, which is easily observable in "Reichpop" due to Tatum's heavy use of marimba and short, repetitive patterns, both classic elements of Steve Reich's compositions. Reich's minimalist influence is also discernible in the line Tatum croons, "The less you say, the less that you get wrong."
The first third of "Reichpop" could very easily be the background music in an opening scene of a UFO documentary: a solid 90 seconds of calmly wailing macabre synths slowly brought to life by a symphony of marimbas. The opening gives way to the meat of the song, a classic indie pop/rock melting pot of sporadic undistorted electric guitar strums, a continuous simple bass line that is relatively unnoticed but if muted would make the song completely different, the occasional laser beam or robot-like sample, simple backbeat percussion, and soft, low lead vocals that often characterize indie music. The marimbas remain steadfast throughout "Reichpop," the notes appearing like random and scattered raindrops until they slowly form a complex pattern, even claiming the last note before the song comes to a screeching halt at its conclusion. "Reichpop"'s adventurous tone, subject matter, and influences give the song an air of self-discovery both in Tatum's musical pursuits as well as his journey through life. Jack Tatum has stated that he fears becoming just one thing or playing just one genre, and it is apparent that with the release of his February album Life of Pause, he will not have to confront that fear. All three singles that have been released, including "Reichpop" have patently different sounds that demonstrate Tatum's skills as a composer in several different styles of music. Check out the other two released songs from Life of Pause here!