Stream Nervous Dater Don’t Be A Stranger

A lot of Nervous Dater’s debut album is concerned with feeling like a fake — to yourself, to your friends and lovers, to employers, to anyone that you’d want to take you seriously. There’s a serious case of imposter syndrome threaded throughout Don’t Be A Stranger, and lead vocalist Rachel Lightner translates her rush of doubts into self-conscious, protracted lyrics that play out like an internal monologue that just won’t quit. On the title track, she outlines one of these fits of uncertainty in exacting detail: “Cause when things get quiet I feel uneasy/ I need my friends or at least just the sound of the TV/ To keep these things in my head from screaming: ‘You’re inadequate! You’re a piece of shit!/ You could run forever but you’d never get away with it…'” But the persistent anxiety is even more insidious than that, like on “Pigeon Language,” where she feels like she can’t keep up with conversations between a romantic interest and their friend group: “I can never quite understand the pidgin language you speak with your friends/ I’m always behind one beat/ They’re so fucking lucky.”

The sort of social alienation that Lightner sings about is par for the course with the sort of music that Nervous Dater make — chugging riffs, hooky fizziness, an incendiary sense of humor about serious subjects — but the Brooklyn-based band are especially good at what they do. Take lead single “Bad Spanish,” where dueling guitars trip over themselves in an effort to match the ascendency of its hook: “It’s hard to ask for help if you don’t really want it.” Or on “Serenity,” where they manifest the constricted into a tension knot of a hook. Don’t Be A Stranger is teeming with charismatic, catchy tracks and you can and should listen to it below.

Tour dates:
09/28 New Brunswick, NJ
09/29 Brooklyn, NY
09/30 Belmar, NJ
10/02 Pittsburgh, PA
10/03 Detroit, MI
10/04 Grand Rapids, MI
10/05 Chicago, IL
10/07 Kansas CIty, MO
10/09 Columbus, OH
10/12 New Paltz, NY
10/13 Albany, NY
10/14 Boston, MA
10/15 Philadelphia, PA

Don’t Be A Stranger is out 9/29 via Counter Intuitive Records. Pre-order it here.