Though some of indie's brightest leading men have come through Virginia's halls of higher education (Steve Malkmus, David Berman, Travis Morrison), your average college rock band in the Old Dominion area probably sounds more like Agents of Good Roots. So if you live in a place like Blacksburg, Va., home of the Virginia Tech campus and not much else, and you want to be in a tropical punk act (Facepaint), an introspective singer-songwriter project (Jack & the Whale), or a band that covers Kate Bush instead of Dave Matthews (Wild Nothing's breakthrough rendition of "Cloudbusting"), you'll probably have to do what Jack Tatum did and start them yourself.
Music tends to follow the general rule of thumb that if you can get three examples of something then it can be called a trend. Only in music it's called a genre, and it usually ends up slowly ruining the thing it's supposed to be defining. You get the feeling that as 'chillwave' slowly becomes shorthand for everything vaguely summery or a little bit hazy, that in amongst the shimmering keyboards and padded drums you can make out the death knell.
If all you heard was a set of iTunes samples of Wild Nothing’s debut Gemini, you might think you were listening to a nostalgic playlist of ‘80s and ‘90s Anglo alt-rock, spanning post-punk, 4AD art-noise, proto-Britpop, and shoegaze. New Order, the Cure, the Cocteau Twins, the Stone Roses, My Bloody Valentine—their signature sounds all appear in some form or another on Gemini via mastermind Jack Tatum’s canny reconstructions of those iconic groups’ easily recognizable styles.
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