On “Nocturne,” the sophomore LP from Virginia dream-pop project Wild Nothing, bandleader Jack Tatum at times seems fixated on darkness. But that doesn’t stop the songs from glistening with a melancholy polish. Tatum sends lightheaded melodies adrift on a current of shimmering guitar as he calls out to shrouded lovers, at once lovesick and love-high. Both feelings come through in “Paradise”: the guitar dances giddily over a cherubic bed of synth, while Tatum implores, “Crush me with the lie / Tell me once or twice / That love is paradise.” Wild Nothing is comfortable in this ambivalence. In “Only Heather,” a steady jangle that floats off into the distance, Tatum dismisses the cynics who question his paramour’s dubious influence over him. He wants to soak in these feelings. “Through the Grass,”
the most direct acknowledgment of Wild Nothing’s debt to ethereal 1980s pop, guides itself with a sparse but distinct rhythm that frees Tatum to wander. He’s lost in the clouds and not ready to let his feet touch the ground. (Out Tuesday)
Wild Nothing is at Brighton Music Hall Sept. 20.