Song Premiere: Flynn Tanner Gets “Nervous”

As social distancing continues with no end to the COVID-19 crisis in sight, it only makes sense to slow down. Toronto-based songwriter and instrumentalist Flynn Tanner is following up his energetic, sun-drenched “Let’s Talk About” (June 26, premiered here) with a second single, the reflective ballad “Nervous”. When so much in the world is wrong and unsettling, this song provides a sweet reminder of the romantic kind of jitters with someone who makes even the smallest moments magical.

“Nervous” single cover art.

The track opens with a simple bluesy guitar lick and a verse painting a quiet moment with broad strokes: All I want to see / when I open my eyes / is you lying next to me / you give me butterflies / holding my breath when you walk through my door / the feeling you get when you enter my car

A strengthening drumbeat carries the song to a chorus whose words put forth their own futility: I can’t explain it but you make me nervous / oh, I can’t describe how you still make me nervous.

Though we don’t know much about the object of the narrator’s affection or the specifics of their power, and more concrete language might have deepened the connection, the Berklee-educated Tanner uses quiet, universal moments to bring the listener into the relationship:

Flynn Tanner, 10/11/2020.

The way that I feel / even now that you’re mine / still feels like I’m seeing you for the first time / yeah you’re on my mind / my hands are shaking, no I can’t control / the feeling I get when your head’s on my pillow

Smooth synths and soaring background vocal echoes fill the second chorus and outro, a minute that leaves the listener to imagine what Tanner might be doing with those emotions. But overall, for a young artist eager to grow his audience, develop his solo projects, and find his footing in the modern space of indie rock-infused pop, “Nervous” will make a relatable ode to how even a seasoned love can feel new and exciting.

“Nervous”, Flynn Tanner’s second single off his forthcoming solo EP (releasing sometime in 2021), premieres today on SoundCloud and Spotify. Follow Flynn on Instagram and learn more about his next moves at his website.

Book Review: K.M. Weiland Illuminates Theme

Full disclosure: I received a free advance copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

K.M. Weiland is a rock star of writing craft, and with this latest release she shows us once again what thousands of authors gain from her blog, podcast, and books.

I’ve studied her writing craft books for years now, since I was a baby wannabe writer with no idea what went into a novel. More than any of my formal writing education (which has still been valuable!) her explanations of story structure have helped me write two novels.

Writing Your Story’s Theme is perhaps her most comprehensive, layered volume yet, and breaks down one of the most abstract, amorphous, and downright tricky elements of craft: theme. Because we all want our stories to have powerful impacts, to say something about the human condition. But how do you accomplish such a daunting task without preaching to readers in a way that will have them throwing your book across the room?

In this book, Weiland ties together her previous analyses of compelling story structure and character arc to show writers how they can use each plot point, each moment, each word, to tie together these once-disparate elements into stories with even greater resonance. Once woven together, they will transform your theme from an abstract principle or moralistic message into the complex, living, breathing heart of your story.

Writers unfamiliar with Weiland and her terminology may need to refer to some of her other books or her blog for context; seasoned writers may only need to skim or check a few points as references. No matter your place along your writing journey or ultimate publishing goals, this book will help you organically build a more powerful story from the heart out.

Writing Your Story’s Theme is available for purchase at Amazon and Kobo.