Field Recordings

Wild Nothing: Nuanced Pop At 8,500 FeetKCRW

When most people think of Palm Springs, visions of softly baked desert landscapes come to mind. However, upon arriving at the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, we were warned that the temperature differential between the desert and the top cliff of the Chino Canyon was about 30 degrees — cold enough that it would require warm clothing and an adventurous spirit. But Wild Nothing singer-songwriter Jack Tatum and his tour players were game to load onto the rotating tram car and ascend to more than 8,500 feet above sea level.

Abandoning extraneous gear at the Tramway landing, both the band and our crew hiked down into the San Bernardino National Forest and then up onto a side of the Mount San Jacinto peak. With rapidly freezing hands, the band performed its song "This Chain Won't Break" for this Field Recording with a stripped-down assortment of instruments (two guitars, an amplified iPad, a bunch of dried tree pods turned into a makeshift shaker), giving this ode to a challenged relationship a much more nuanced, somber feel.

Once our feet were solidly back on the desert floor, the members of Wild Nothing were surprised to come across a group of fans who'd recognized the band from its recent Coachella performance. We toasted the chance meeting with some local wine and a random piece of sheet cake — and took the requisite Instagram pictures — before setting out for warmer climes.

Producers: Saidah Blount, Mito Habe-Evans, Amy Schriefer, Collin Walzak; Videographers: Mito Habe-Evans, Gabriella Garcia-Pardo, Mikey Harboldt; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; Special thanks to the Ace Hotel Palm Springs; Executive Producers: Anya Grundmann and Keith Jenkins

[+] read more[-] less

More From Rock

Tiny Desk Concert with Paul Weller. Lani Milton/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Lani Milton/NPR

Tiny Desk

Paul Weller

See the beloved Britpop veteran perform songs from his new album, Saturns Pattern.

Florence Welch appears in a scene from Florence and the Machine's new double-feature video for "Queen of Peace" and "Long & Lost." Courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of the artist

All Songs TV

Florence And The Machine, 'Queen Of Peace/Long And Lost'

The dog days are over in the English powerhouse's gorgeous, mournful double-feature video.

Courtney Barnett performs at the 2015 Newport Folk Festival. Adam Kissick for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Adam Kissick for NPR

Newport Folk Festival

Courtney Barnett, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2015

The rising Australian rock star went electric and then some this weekend at Newport.

Listen Loading… 31:20
  • Playlist
  • Embed
    Embed <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/426710883/426713214" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">

Gregory Alan Isakov performs on the Woods Stage at Pendarvis Farm outside Portland, Ore. Drew Bandy/opbmusic.org hide caption

itoggle caption Drew Bandy/opbmusic.org

Favorite Sessions

Gregory Alan Isakov, 'Saint Valentine' (Live)

Watch a simple symphony of violin, banjo and voice, recorded live at Pickathon in Oregon.

Conor Oberst, Matt Baum and Landon Hedges of Desaparecidos during the band's record release show at Shea Stadium in Brooklyn, NYC. Mito Habe-Evans/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Mito Habe-Evans/NPR

Front Row

Desaparecidos, Live In Concert

Watch Conor Oberst's punk band put on an exhilarating, fist-pumping show at Brooklyn's Shea Stadium.

A scene from Krill's video for the song "Torturer." Courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of the artist

All Songs TV

Krill, 'Torturer'

A mansion caretaker's isolation gives way to paranoia in the Boston band's surreal new video.

Back To Top