Wild Nothing

The Trigger System Presents!

Wild Nothing

Charlie Hilton

Thu. May 12, 2016

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

The Broadberry

Richmond, VA

$15.00

Tickets at the Door

This event is all ages

Wild Nothing
Wild Nothing
When Jack Tatum began work on Life of Pause, his third full-length to date, he had lofty ambitions: Don't just write another album; create another world. One with enough detail and texture and dimension that a listener could step inside, explore, and inhabit it as they see fit. "I desperately wanted for this to be the kind of record that would displace me," he says. "I'm terrified by the idea of being any one thing, or being of any one genre. And whether or not I accomplish that, I know that my only hope of getting there is to constantly reinvent. That reinvention doesn't need to be drastic, but every new record has to have its own identity, and it has to have a separate set of goals from what came before."

What came before: a rightfully acclaimed, much beloved display of singular pop craftsmanship. Tatum's dreamy, unexpected 2010 debut, Gemini, was written while he was still a student at Virginia Tech University. Its equally disarming follow-up, 2012's Nocturne, marked the first time he'd been able to bring his bedroom recordings into a studio, to be performed and fully realized with the help of other musicians. There has been a set of wonderfully expansive EPs in between—each hinting at new directions and punctuating previous ideas—but with Life of Pause, Tatum delivers what he describes as his most "honest" and "mature" work yet, an exquisitely arranged and beautifully recorded collection of songs that marry the immediate with the indefinable. "I allowed myself to go down every route I could imagine even if it ended up not working for me," he says. "I owe it to myself to take as many risks as possible. Songs are songs and you have to allow yourself to be open to everything."

After a prolonged period of writing and experimentation, recording took place over several weeks in both Los Angeles and Stockholm, with producer Thom Monahan (Devendra Banhart, Beachwood Sparks) helping Tatum in his search for a more natural and organically textured sound. In Sweden, in a studio once owned by ABBA, they enlisted Peter, Bjorn and John drummer John Ericsson and fellow Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra veteran TK, to contribute drums and marimba. In California, at Monahan's home, Tatum collaborated with Medicine guitarist Brad Laner and a crew of saxophonists. From the hypnotic polyrhythms of "Reichpop" to the sugary howl of "Japanese Alice" to the hallucinogenic R&B of "A Woman's Wisdom, the result is a complete, fully immersive listening environment. "I just kept things really simple, writing as ideas came to me," he says. "There's definitely a different kind of 'self' in the picture this time around. There's no real love lost, it's much more a record of coming to terms and defining what it is that you have—your place, your relationships. I view every record as an opportunity to write better songs. At the end of the day it still sounds like me, just new."
Charlie Hilton
Though she maintains some reservations about the implications of something as abstract as identity, Charlie Hilton, known up until now for her work in the band Blouse, has now forged a new one with her debut solo album, Palana. The album's title itself is a nod to Hilton's given Sanskrit name, an identity she shed completely after high school in favor of the androgynous "Charlie," and Palana's overarching theme can be summed up by a quote from Hermann Hesse's Steppenwolf, a phrase Hilton cites as a personal mantra: "Man is not by any means of fixed and enduring form…he is much more an experiment and a transition…."

Enlisting Unknown Mortal Orchestra's Jacob Portrait as producer, Hilton freely experimented with diverse sounds and moods — some minimal and some cacophonous — out of the confines of a band structure. "Funny Anyway" is truly stark, featuring only string accompaniments, with Hilton assuming a role akin to a confessional French chanteuse, while "Let's Go to a Party" is Hilton's cheeky take on an icy dance track with thick, bouncing synths and a chorus that echoes "I'm only happy when I'm dancing." Alternatively, tracks like "Pony" harken back to the psychedelic strengths of Blouse, saluting bands like Broadcast and United States of America, and then there's "100 Million," the sole track produced by Woods' Jarvis Taveniere that rounds out the album in a soft, acoustic and light-hearted way with labelmate Mac DeMarco lending his talents on instrumentals and back-up vocals.

This wide range of moods on Palana recall several of Hilton's key influences — the solemn beauty of Nico, the whimsical nature of Marc Bolan, and the naïveté of Jonathan Richman — but the album is undeniably the work of one artist, perhaps best summed up by the artist herself: "The music on this record is diverse, but so is the inside of a person. I feel like I'm many people."
Venue Information:
The Broadberry
2729 W. Broad Street
Richmond, VA, 23220
http://www.thebroadberry.com