2. Nobody Loses
3. Sick Sad World
4. Recycled Air
5. It Follows
8. The Way Back
9. Hold Tight
10. Fall Apart
Em Foster is the supremely talented songwriter for Watford’s Nervus. Em pours emotion into the lyrics which is driven by having to cope with gender dysphoria and addiction. All this in a world where the far right want to make anything they do not see as ‘normal’ unacceptable. The band’s first album, ‘Permanent Rainbows’ from 2016 consisted of songs that Em effectively wrote for personal consumption, but band mates Paul Etienne and Karl Woods convinced her otherwise, which is great news for us music lovers because that has now lead to another Nervus album, ‘Everything Dies’ which is scheduled for release on 9th March on Big Scary Monster Records. The album was recorded and produced by Bob Cooper and Em Foster at Crooked Rain Studios in Leeds.
The album is loosely themed around birth, life and death and the lyrics appear to be immensely personal and this makes the songs incredibly powerful and impactful. “I am safe in my own skin, but my armour is paper thin” is such a simple yet emotional lyric from “Skin”. What shines through is the hope in the melodies in these songs even if the lyrics are dark. However the tunes were created it feels like these are made to make even the most negative listener feel positive. “Congratulations” you might be pleased to know has nothing to do with Cliff Richard, it deals with the societal conditioning and pressure to conform that we probably all went through or are going through to some degree. Some of the best people I know are non-conformists and there is often great talent to be found in non-conformity; Kate Bush and David Bowie for example. Em Foster I think could one day be aligned with that kind of talent. She is clearly one of the finest lyricists out there right now. I think “The Way Back” deals with similar issues.
This album feels much further along than a sophomore release. It has a maturity, presence and passion of a band that has been playing together for years. I have subsequently checked out Nervus’ previous album and both ‘Permanent Rainbows’ and ‘Everything Dies’ are two albums that I am sure will hit my ears on a regular basis from now on. My favourite songs after two plays are “It Follows” which is accompanied by a stunning video, “Hold Tight” which has the makings of a massive hit. But for me album closer “Fall Apart” is perfection personified; great tune, great playing and a thoughtful and intelligent take on how the human race is destroying the planet. The chorus alone holds an unarguable message for those among us, yes there are some, who deny global warming.
I have mentioned Em Foster a few times and as a vocalist, guitarist and songwriter she is a massive talent. However this record would not exist if she didn’t have such a great band around her in Paul Etienne (Piano and keyboards), Karl Woods (Bass) and Jack Kenny on drums. I can’t make you buy or stream this album, but you will be disappointed if you don’t!
Website - www.nervusmusic.uk
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/nervusmusic/
Review - Bill Adamson