ACL 2013 review: Wild Nothing
By Ramon Ramirez
Editor’s note: This article was originally published October 4, 2013
Way back in 2010 B.S. (before Spotify), nascent indie rock bands needed cool art and one good mp3 to make it. Hip blogs let you right click and snag the file, playlists took longer to organize. Wild Nothing did both; “Summer Holiday” is one of those pointed guitar pop cupcakes you snack on all summer. Now a festival footnote, the Blacksburg four-piece opened Austin City Limits with its 2013 LP, “Empty Estate,” lulling in early risers like curious zombies to the deep end Samsung Galaxy stage.
It didn’t take long for singer Jack Tatum to feel the noise, “Nothing like drinking a Bud Light before noon, staring out a Bud Light stage. Is this what happens every day in Austin?” Drummer Jeremiah Johnson pulsed in a purple button down, maroon cap and ’60s dad ‘stache—his mates trotted around their even hipper gear (Vox and Orange amps). Aggressively self-branded, sure, but they can compose lyrics on typewriters for all I care: “Ocean Repeating (big-eyed girl)” doesn’t happen without chops. It took Wild Nothing three songs to inspire green leaf enthusiasts to camp in a circle by the front barrier and blaze one. Somewhat surprising, because the band’s music is more floppy hats, mimosa brunches and John Hughes prom dancing.