Anatomy of a Song: Wild Nothing on “Partners In Motion” | Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Friday, May 24th, 2024  

Anatomy of a Song: Wild Nothing on “Partners In Motion”

Indigo Due Out Friday via Captured Tracks

Aug 30, 2018 Wild Nothing Photography by Koury Angelo (for Under the Radar) Bookmark and Share

A song is a chance overlapping of countless variables in an artist’s life. Anatomy of a Song is a place where those variables can be dissected and examined. In this edition, Wild Nothing (aka Jack Tatum) discusses “Partners in Motion.” The song is found on Indigo, Wild Nothing’s fourth album, which is out this Friday (August 31) via Captured Tracks, and was previously our #1 Song of the Week.

The album is the follow-up to 2016’s somewhat underrated Life of Pause. Virginia-bred/Los Angeles-based Tatum recorded the demos solo and then spent four days at Sunset Sound’s Studio with drummer Cam Allen and guitarist Benji Lysaght to track the record live (Tatum played bass). Then producer Jorge Elbrecht (Ariel Pink, Gang Gang Dance, Japanese Breakfast) came on board to build out the rest of the album’s sound, including using parts of Tatum’s original demos. Elbrecht and Tatum mixed the album over 10 days in Denver and then Tatum put the finishing touches on Indigo at his Glassell Park studio in Los Angeles. Sonically, Tatum was going for a 1980s vibe. Read on as Tatum discusses the musical and lyrical inspiration behind “Partners in Motion,” which is followed by the song itself.


That track is one of my favorites on the record. It’s slightly different from some of other tracks, in that I started the track off really bare bones: I set up a drum track on this drum machine called a CR-78, this classic Roland drum machine that lots of people have used. The most famous example I can think of is Blondie’s “Heart of Glass.”

So I set up a loop with this drum machine and then started building things over top of that. I’d become interested in working with a lot of digital synths. There are a lot of digital synths that came out in the ‘80s that were on so many records that you hear from that era. Like, the Yamaha DX-7 is one of the ones that has been on most records from that era. So yeah, I found this weird rack synth that I bought from a guy in the Valley, on Craigslist, and ended up using that for all of the keyboard parts of the song. I set up this drum loop, had these keyboard parts going, and then just built the song off of that. That became my bed for the song.

I wanted to write a song that would be a bit dancier, a bit more vibrant than some of the other songs I’ve written in the past. In some ways it relates back to a song on Nocturne called “Paradise”-all the guitars and these various sorts of chimey, higher chord phrases. There was this video that I’d watched, where Nile Rodgers is talking about the Bowie record Let’s Dance, and he’s explaining some of the ways that he’d taken the original chord phrasings that Bowie had brought to him and kind of “Chic-ifying” these parts, coming up with new ways of playing guitar. That influenced me to come up with some different guitar parts.

Once the song was built up to a certain point, my producer and I took the song into a studio at Sunset Sound; we were in the same room that Prince used all throughout the ‘80s. So we basically crammed as much as we could in the four days we had this space, because studios are so expensive. We tracked most of the songs live after that. With this song we took in all the keyboard parts and the drum machine running throughout the whole song, and then I played bass, this guy Benji Lysaght played guitar and then Cam Allen played drums. So the three of us basically tracked the song live on top of the tracks I’d already created. So that was really different to how I’ve worked on records in the past: a lot of the guitar parts are pretty improvised; Benji was really great at taking the progressions I’d made and just jamming around on them.

There are a few things in this song that I haven’t done in the past. There’s a section in the bridge where there’s a big key change-I’ve been really wanting to find a way to work in a super goofy key change into one of my songs and this was the first opportunity where it felt appropriate. It’s not as structured as some of the other songs on the record, there’s no clear chorus.

But I really enjoyed the way that it turned out. At some point in the process I was writing the lyrics for this song, and I’d been helping a friend build this super elaborate dollhouse for his daughter. I started getting fixated on this idea of dollhouses-it was interesting what it represented, this idea of peering into someone else’s life, into their house, and thinking how strange this was. And so I started thinking about this concept of peering in on someone’s life as if they were living in a dollhouse, and in some ways it’s like peering in on my own life. You have these very domestic scenes: a couple sitting down drinking coffee, someone obsessively arranging picture frames on the wall-which is something that I do. In some ways it’s about making fun of myself, but also about painting this picture of things that do happen in my life. Some of it is about this guilt and being a consumer, and caring about your house being nice. There are a lot of things on this record that are about coming to terms with societal norms.

Read our 2016 interview with Wild Nothing.

Wild Nothing Tour Dates:

Tue. Oct. 16 - Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle
Wed. Oct. 17 - Atlanta, GA @ Terminal West
Thu. Oct. 18 - Birmingham, AL @ Saturn
Fri. Oct. 19 - New Orleans, LA @ Gasa Gasa
Sat. Oct. 20 - Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall
Sun. Oct. 21 - Austin, TX @ Mohawk
Tue. Oct. 23 - Santa Fe, NM @ Meow Wolf
Wed. Oct. 24 - Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom
Thu. Oct. 25 - Santa Ana, CA @ Observatory
Fri. Oct. 26 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Regent Theater
Sat. Oct. 27 - San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
Tue. Oct. 30 - Portland, OR @ Revolution Hall
Wed. Oct. 31 - Vancouver, BC @ Imperial Vancouver
Thu. Nov. 1 - Seattle, WA @ Neumos
Fri. Nov. 2 - Boise, ID @ Neurolux
Sat. Nov. 3 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge
Sun. Nov. 4 - Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theater
Tue. Nov. 6 - Omaha, NE @ The Slowdown
Wed. Nov. 7 - Minneapolis, MN @ Cedar Cultural Center
Thu. Nov. 8 - Madison, WI @ Majestic Theatre
Fri. Nov. 9 - Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall
Sat. Nov. 10 - Detroit, MI @ El Club
Mon. Nov. 12 - Toronto, ON @ Opera House
Tue. Nov. 13 - Montreal, QC @ Corona Theatre
Wed. Nov. 14 - Boston, MA @ Royale Nightclub
Fri. Nov. 16 - Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel
Sat. Nov. 17 - Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts
Sun. Nov. 18 - Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club

(Men I Trust open all shows.)

Support Under the Radar on Patreon.


Submit your comment

Name Required

Email Required, will not be published


Remember my personal information
Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

August 31st 2018

I Have Never read this type effective And Unique content! Keep Undated….
Best Maulana In India

August 31st 2018

say thanks for that amazing blog
Online Horoscope Reading

September 1st 2018

I’m Very Impress your written skills!
How To Winning Heart of Ex Boyfriend

September 1st 2018

Say thank you I searching for your facts.
Sifli Black Magic

September 4th 2018

It is pleasant to scan your post and you offer sensible info. If its all identical to you retain posting such quite illuminating stuff. attention-grabbing article share and this web log is motivates additional folks to examining that web log.The impacts have changes the first depictions a ton and it is very looking more lovely than previously. Be that as it may, almost certainly your work can’t contend with anybody. You are simply great and simply the just a single in the event that we discuss your specialty.

Alex Dixon
September 4th 2018

Thank you for the information. Let me try reaching out one of the concert.

Essays Author

September 8th 2018


September 8th 2018

I Am happy and geld your post layout!
Home Remedies To Reduce Shani Ki Sade Sati

September 11th 2018
if you’re on Android, you can simply download the APK.

September 14th 2018

good..Muslim Black Magic Experts

Collection of Itachi
September 22nd 2018

The best part about this website is that it really keep himself updated with fresh content

October 22nd 2018

Very Interesting and wonderful information keep sharing this post kindly check
install qooapp

Hotel Supplies Store
October 25th 2018

Thank you for the information. We are one of the U.K.’s leading suppliers to the Hotel Sector and Hospitality Products

Aronfeld Trial Lawyers
October 26th 2018

For Best personal injury lawyers in Florida Visit us:

Green Building Initiative
October 26th 2018

Very Usefull !!The Green Building Initiative® (GBI) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the adoption of building practices that result in resource efficient, healthier and environmentally sustainable buildings.
Visit us:

Bell Medical Services
October 27th 2018

Thank you for the information. For best medical services Kindly visit us:

Aspen Group Ltd
October 29th 2018

Very usefull article! If you are searching for Reconstruction or any roofing services please visit us:

Our Bird has Flown
October 30th 2018

Thanks for the article please visit us:

SureSafe Alarms UK
October 30th 2018

Thanks for sharing this information. if anybody need Personal Alarms system they can visit our website :- SureSafe Alarms UK

Feeder Finger
October 30th 2018

This Article is very usefull.For design innovative products that save cost and improve efficiency on the production floor.
Please visit us:

All Freight
October 31st 2018

Very interesting. For best food grade freight transportation please Visit us:

Malaysia Visa
November 1st 2018

For visa for Malaysia please visit us:

Securities Research Company
November 2nd 2018

This article is very usefull. For investing in stock marketing please visit us:

2 Dads with Baggage
November 12th 2018

For adventure trip for gay parenting please visit us:

The Handy Guy
November 12th 2018

Thanks for the article. For professional installation services please visit us:

Brand VO2
November 12th 2018

Thanks for the article. BrandVO2 was created through the disruptive collaboration of Fortune 100 software engineers, and veteran brand marketers.Website:

January 3rd 2019

thank you for this article.
coolmath tail of the dragon

January 17th 2019

geld your post layout!
Black Magic For Love Solution Girlfriend Boyfriend

February 4th 2019

You have got to see this
Hyperbolic Stretching

Delhi Escorts
March 23rd 2019

In the beginning, I would like to thank you much about this great post. Its very useful and helpful for anyone looking for tips. I like your writing style and I hope you will keep doing this good working.

AOL 800 number
April 6th 2019

Looking for technical support to tackle your AOL emails glitches, Dial AOL 800 number for a quick and comprehensive solution. We have experienced panel of technical experts has the ample knowledge to fix all the problems that are faced by the users.

Walder Smith
April 6th 2019

Get the Instant Help via outlook email customer service Open 24/7 Round the Clock.

April 10th 2019

I read that Post and got it fine and informative. Please share more like that…
halki diabetes remedy

April 16th 2019

First Class Lyrics

May 14th 2019

Great information on Public Sector Facilities. Your article is great and am extremely smart written article. Thanks for sharing.All Types Lyrics Are Available Like Bollywood, Bengali, Punjabi, Indian Pop, Bengali Pop And Many More Songs Lyrics Here….

September 23rd 2019

Thanks for putting this out

January 8th 2020

This is such a nice article.
<a herf=‘’>Bengali lyrics</a>

brutal king
January 11th 2020

We are one of the U.K.’s leading suppliers to the Hotel Sector and in!

Micheal Leo
March 18th 2020

I really thank you for the valuable info on this great subject and look forward to more great posts. You put really very helpful information…. I am appreciating it very much! If you interested please check best true wireless earbuds 2020

Nick Randall
April 3rd 2020

I really thank you for the valuable info on this great subject and look forward to more great posts. You put really very helpful information…. I am appreciating it very much! Looking forward to another great article. Good luck to the author! All the best!

Nick Randall
April 15th 2020

I really thank you for the valuable info on this great subject and look forward to more great posts. You put really very helpful information…. I am appreciating it very much! Looking forward to another great article. Good luck to the author!

Happy Birthday in Heaven
May 8th 2020

Father and Mother is the breadwinner of the family. They are a strength of the family, who is the supporter, as well as an adviser. If you wish Happy Birthday in Heaven is shows that you are still miss someone in your life. There is a lot of Dimensions and role that the father and mother plays in his lifetime silently. We all know how hard it is to cop up with our feelings when we lost our loved one person, especially the father and mother. Father is the main pillar of strength in the family, and Your mother is the only one to take of you in every second of her life.

May 8th 2020

woow good information .your articel is great thanku for sharing all new songs lyrics are avalible here like punjabi,bengali, telugu, india pop, english and many more songs visit here>>

May 8th 2020

woow good information .your articel is great thanku for sharing all new songs lyrics are avalible here like punjabi,bengali, telugu, english and many more songs visit here

vishal kumar
May 8th 2020

woow good information .your articel is great thanku for sharing visit here

May 8th 2020

thank you for sharing good information visit here..

May 8th 2020

thank for sharing good information visit here

May 27th 2020

Very nice article!

Apurva Songs Lyrics hai
June 10th 2020

thank you for sharing mann.. i love this post from Nepal

June 20th 2020

thank you for sharing love from nepal

November 13th 2020

Very Nice Article Thanks For Sharing With Us.