From Wild Nothing’s Life of Pause, released earlier this year, comes “Reichpop”, the lead track. It’s a soundworld enveloped in melodic washes of synthesizer, marimba, drums and guitar. With “reich” a German word meaning realm or empire, the title points us towards a pop realm which contains echoes of the past, while still sounding futuristic (or at least, of the present). When the marimba comes in, I’m reminded of Peter Gabriel’s “No Self Control” (1980). Further in, compare “Voices Inside My Head” by the Police (also 1980) with “Reichpop” and you’ll hear the same rhythmic melody line that anchors the song. Listen a bit closer and you may hear faint echoes of Vampire Weekend in the backing vocals.
Wild Nothing incorporates these touchpoints into an intoxicating melange – akin to adding flavorful spices to a good meal. I don’t know if they’ve even heard the songs I mention above, but those musical ideas seem to still be floating around in the ether all these years later. “Pop will eat itself” goes the old saying, meaning that the recycling of old ideas will be the downfall of pop music. There’s some validity in that, but then art often uses old ideas and reinterprets them in new ways to bring new meaning. It’s all in how ya do it. “Don’t get me wrong now / It all flows on”, sing the Wild Nothing….