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.
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:
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.