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  • Giavanna Gradaille

Review: "nervous" - joan

The store aisles are covered in shades of pink and red. If there’s no heart prints on an item, then the actual item itself is heart-shaped. And the butterflies in my stomach are fighting to get out. This could only mean one thing: Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. There are quite a few people in my life that adore this holiday and are expecting grand gestures that outperform last year’s – which only worsens my preexisting nerves. Thankfully, joan with their appropriately named single “nervous”, has been helping me get over my pre-Valentine’s Day jitters.

The alt-pop single “nervous” centers on the anxiety we experience whenever we’re romantically interested in or simply have a deep fondness for someone. The song opens with acoustic guitar picks as a faraway chorus is played to get listeners nostalgic for any past crushes. It re-introduces the audience to the intense feelings that once had them fluttering between being overwhelmed and excited within these moments. The first verse accurately depicts how this crush reverts us back to a state of childlike innocence where we become clumsy and clammy in their presence. Even showcasing little abstract sounds here and there to drive this idea home. Then the pre-chorus reaffirms how these emotions make it feel like we’re tongue-tied. The chorus then kicks in with claps to accompany the lyrics to diagnose this emotional state for what it is, nervousness. I personally love the third verse where the tempo of the song shifts to give us a little rock out session while explaining that there’s a need to communicate these feelings but there’s a fear of the words falling short of the love that’s felt. The tempo shift aids in this mild panic that’s being experienced. Ultimately, joan’s “nervous” reminds us that feeling like this is a common, universal encounter and it helps ground listeners like me who find themselves with pre-Valentine’s Day jitters.

The Arkansas-based duo that make up joan are Steven Rutherford and Alan Benjamin Thomas. Their infectious sound gets listeners hooked, but it’s the two’s personality that keeps ‘em coming back. Their warm and lively stage presence that goes along with relatable tunes demonstrates their enthusiasm for the music they craft. If you’ve enjoyed the alt-pop twosome as much as I have, there’s an upcoming opportunity to watch them perform live! They have a nationwide U.S. 20-date tour to celebrate their upcoming album ‘superglue’. The tour begins on May 13th, and you can find tickets here. But if you find yourself unable to attend, virtual love in the form of streams, likes, and follows is always appreciated, too.

Written by Giavanna Gradaille



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