Pitchfork darling Wild Nothing returns with his third studio album, Life of Pause. However, the title is a bit of a misnomer, as once you press play, the only thing to do is let it run. Taking inspiration from the likes of Beach House and Pains of Being Pure at Heart, this record is yet another jewel to add to Wild Nothing’s already resplendent crown.
The album starts with the wonderfully ambient ‘Reichpop’; its layered xylophone and heavily filtered guitar sounds come to you from a far off distance, getting closer and closer until you allow yourself to be carried away with them. The use of distance is particular to this record, even in songs like ‘Lady Blue’ and ‘To Know You’ which appear on the surface to merely be good old-fashioned indie bangers. The vocals are the key to differentiating them, sounding as though they’ve been fed through two cans linked by string. It’s the contrast between the enveloping instrumentals and the far-off vocals that give Wild Nothing’s music an other-worldly quality, as if he’s speaking to you from a space at the back of your mind that you were never quite aware of.
Wild Nothing is not afraid to present you with the unexpected. ‘Whenever I’ moves from what could be an Easy Listening jazz track to a spacey guitar- and synth-driven wonder. Even typical tropes are rendered entirely new under his hand; the piano and acoustic guitar combination has been done and done and done a million times, but ‘Adore’ uses it as a wonderfully chilled, almost Temples-esque ode to ‘the one that I adore’. The tempo switch in the middle then feels entirely natural even though it is entirely innovative.
Life of Pause is a triumph of left-field indie vibes at their best. Let it soothe your troubles totally away.