With opening track “Shadow,” Wild Nothing’s second studio album Nocturne instantaneously dodges any semblance of a sophomore slump. Fans of frontman Jack Tatum’s allegiance to indie-pop’s late 1980s/early 1990s heyday will be pleased to know he’s still very enamored with that special time when England and Scotland were churning out exceptional bands. “Shadow” swirls with vintage dream-pop beauty while chiming on vestiges of that C-86 jangle revisited by 21st century Slumberland bands. But Tatum’s knack for crafting handsomely catchy melodies keeps things sounding fresh, even when sung in a wispy androgynous voice on par with that of a young Bobby Gillespie or Belinda Butcher. The lead guitar melodies nearly upstage those of the vocals in the following “Midnight Song” — another gem that recalls British indie acts of yore, save for some glistening moments that have more in common with The Shins and Beach Fossils. The title-track is a swoon-worthy standout with moody chord changes and icy hints of new romanticism. The gorgeous “Only Heather” boasts hypnotic shoegazing guitar effects.

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