Wild Nothing (a.k.a. Jack Tatum) offers his cheeriest take on dream pop yet with Life of Pause, the band's third full-length album. The record is largely about defining your relationships and understanding your place in the world, and in many ways, it's a nostalgic tour for Tatum. So perhaps it's no surprise that when we asked Tatum for his favorite songs, he focused on the year he was born: 1988.
"Half the music I hold dear is from the '80s," Tatum told The Week in an email. "It seemed relevant that I could look back and find that I actually had a lot of favorites from the year I was born." Plus, "I like imagining that context too, imagining the things that were floating around while my parents were preparing for a new kid," he added.
Take a trip back in time with Tatum's six favorite songs from 1988.
1. Cocteau Twins, "Carolyn's Fingers"
"The best. Elizabeth Fraser's voice in this song is typically unreal, one of the better examples of how she can jump her voice around without batting an eye. There's a definite operatic quality to some of their music which is present in this song."
2. Enya, "On Your Shore"
"I listen to Watermark all the time. Zero irony — this is beautiful, and it chills me out. Plus my cat is into it, so it clearly works on many levels."
3. The Go-Betweens, "Clouds"
"Pretty hard to pick a favorite from 16 Lovers Lane. Not just a favorite from the year I was born, but a favorite in general. This kind of songwriting is so unassuming which I appreciate. Simplicity is best sometimes."
4. The House Of Love, "Christine"
"One of my favorite 'shoegaze' songs. I mean it's really just a basic pop song but the shrill two-note guitar line is what makes it. Which goes to show, it doesn't take all that much."
5. My Bloody Valentine, "Lose My Breath"
"I've always been more drawn to My Bloody Valentine's mellower stuff. I love how tense the verses are, and then when the chorus comes, in everything opens up and becomes sweeter and lighter. It's a really successful interplay."
6. The Sugarcubes, "Birthday"
"Once upon a time I was very excited to discover that Bjork had previously been in a band called The Sugarcubes. Most people know this song: It's very good. Not many people could get away with such a guttural, wordless chorus, but of course she can."
Life of Pause is out now on Captured Tracks.
(This interview was condensed and edited by Stephanie Talmadge.)
Listen to "TV Queen" by Wild Nothing below, and see a list of the band's spring tour dates here.