Track Attack: Nervous Dater — ‘Bad Spanish’

Posted: by The Editor

Nervous Dater Don't be a stranger

There are at least a dozen moments on Nervous Dater‘s upcoming full-length Don’t Be A Stranger that raise eyebrows. Not from disdain, but from the alarmingly soul-bearing nature of many of the New York band’s lyrics. “Feeling like a fraud at my job cause I faked my way/into every good thing that’s ever happened to me,” is the first, a line from the primary verse on opener “Bad Spanish.” From there, the track only continues to list off frontwoman Rachel Lightner’s self-critical admissions of guilt.

“I’ll say the worst things to make you stay,” she wails after detailing her failed attempt at writing a happy song. “It’s hard to ask for help when you don’t really want it,” she croons in a shyer manner, as if this is something she’s already come to accept but still has difficulty vocalizing.

That pensiveness quickly turns to impatience during the chorus, as she belts, “It’s fine, I said, I’ll bash my fucking head through the wall/so I don’t have to call you, before I go to bed.” Her voice crackles over the snappy rhythm, harmonizing with the kettle corn chord progression popping off in the mix below. The song’s not quite bubble-grunge, not quite slacker-rock, and far too meaty to be emo. It’s more akin to Chumped or Great Grandpa, crossed with the anxious rasp of Mannequin Pussy’s Marisa Dabice. It’s a bold display of self-reflection, a cathartic snarl of confessions, and an earworm of a song that pins Nervous Dater up on the big board of bands to keep tabs on.

Don’t Be A Stranger is out 9/29 via Counter Intuitive Records.

Eli Enis | @eli_enis