June 09, 2022 2 min read

Following the announcement of their fourth album, The Evil One, set to debut June 24 via queer, independent label Get Better Records,today Watford-born indie rock band Nervus has shared track "Jellyfish" — the final single from the forthcoming LP.

Nervus invokes '70s radio rock on “Jellyfish,” which with a sunny melody delivers a meditation on the awe-inspiring power of nature, and the aid of psychedelic drugs in understanding it.

"'Jellyfish' is about how the dominant culture, white supremacy and capitalism, requires us to view ourselves as outside of or separate to ‘nature,’" says Nervus frontwoman Em Foster. "‘Nature’ being a non-intelligent, infinitely-exploitable resource, rather than a complex interdependent web of life that we are necessarily part of and responsible for. It’s also about rejecting the largely racist, anti-LGBT, and cultish ‘appeal-to-nature’ fallacies that are influencing policies on everything from abortion to trans rights."

LISTEN HERE

ABOUT NERVUS

Since their debut album, 2016’s Permanent Rainbow, Nervus (completed by keyboardist Paul Etienne, bassist Lucinda Livingstone, and drummer Jack Kenny-Favell) have been heavyweights in the UK DIY punk scene. On Permanent Rainbow and 2018’s Everything Dies, the band’s shout-along hooks created the perfect space for Foster’s lyrics, which were raw and impactful expressions of her experience with gender dysphoria. They became a deeply important band for fans who faced their own battles with identity. With 2019’s Tough Crowd, the band shifted into a more musically and lyrically expansive direction; Foster set her sights beyond her own self, instead delving into anti-fascist politics and voicing her fury towards the oppressive ruling class.

Of course, shortly after Tough Crowd was released came the COVID-19 pandemic, and Foster was forced to reckon with the mental, physical and financial toll that full-time musicianship had taken on her since Nervus began. Like every other band, Nervus had no choice but to change how they operated; this was a welcome change for them. “We’ve got a bit of a head-start on ourselves from seven years ago, but I think our expectations are back where they were when we started the band,” says Foster. “I think we’re all working from a much healthier place for that reason. We’re doing it in a way that feels a lot more human.” 

The seeds of The Evil One were planted when Foster began taking virtual songwriting lessons with Cloud Nothings’ Dylan Baldi, who helped her workshop its early demos. Her influences were less than ever along the lines of anything recognizable as punk; she’d been diving backwards, into the likes of Roky EricksonThe Eagles, and Neil Young. With the band decamping to Kenny-Favell’s Northumberland home to self-produce, they found themselves stretching their songwriting and production into realms they’d previously closed off, no longer worrying about the reception of a live audience. It resulted in a batch of songs that, while still buzzing with Nervus’s trademark punk energy, also draw on vintage Americana and ‘70s power pop. 

It’s an album that positively smashes through every limit Nervus had previously placed on themselves. Not only that, but it’s their best yet; their most self-assured, most thought-provoking, most fully realized. The most important thing is that it exists for itself, not as a rung towards a tenuous idea of success. With that, Nervus are set free.



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