Leapling – “N.E.R.V.E.” (Stereogum Premiere)

For a song called “N.E.R.V.E.,” this sounds preternaturally chill. Perhaps it’s because they’re not using nerve in the traditional sense of the word. Key synonyms here include stubborn, brazen … brave? Frontman Dan Arnes doesn’t sound nervous or anxious here; he sounds resigned. “You said I had a lot of nerve / N-E-R-V-E,” spelling it out like a Sesame Street rhyme and letting the sentiment sink in. It’s murky as to whether he’s in the right in whatever fight he’s involved in, and it’s clear that he doesn’t fully know either: “There’s a reason I am writing words that are incomplete.” All of Leapling’s songs are inhibited with an uneasy sense of murmured calmness, and it’s more pronounced here than ever. The drums roll along like billowing storm clouds, and the guitar and bass take on the laidback attitude of a lounge jammer. “N.E.R.V.E.” is a foggy, somber highlight from the Brooklyn band’s upcoming debut full-length Vacant Page, and you can listen to it below.

Vacant Page is out 2/10 via Inflated Records/Exploding In Sound. You can preorder it here.

Tags: Leapling