Nervous Cloud – Nervous Cloud

On their self-titled debut album Nervous Cloud, Chicago-borne Travis Lee Wiggins and Sarah Sterling display an eclectic musical style drawing from a diverse range of genres and instrumental experimentations, presumably picked up during their previous experiences within the local music scene with both having been members of bands such as Essex Channel, The Salts and more. This depth of understanding is highly apparent in the duo’s seemingly inherent ability to produce eleven tracks which are recognisably true to style when combined while remaining varied and individually distinct.

This enjoyable breadth of facets and complexities can perhaps be explained by the amount of existing artists that Nervous Cloud’s music can be seen to draw inspiration from – in tracks such as “Summer of Love” and the amusingly titled “How to Get Murdered in a Made for TV Movie”, their use of raw and punchy guitar riffs paired with a perfectly matched and steady, simple beat make them perceptible as a light-hearted and whimsical version of The Strokes whereas a Californian vocal feel in other tracks make them comparable to Noah and The Whale, without sounding quite so twee. Equally in the album’s final song “Quit” the band display a jazziness and heavy bass line favoured by the undeniably bodacious and increasingly well-received Black Keys; yet despite being notably similar in some ways to the aforementioned artists they remain fresh and intriguing to listen to.

While displaying this impressive range of talents and creativity within the album by playing on different strengths throughout and in doing so not stylistically limiting themselves, what is also recognisable is the way that they use quirky and melodic harmonies and sequences in order to connect each of the songs, ensuring that they remain constant and congruent in their own style. This is made easier for them by the fact that the two vocalists are extremely well matched due to being tonally similar and they therefore combine as one seamless unit to communicate their noticeably and consistently thoughtful lyrics. In their first release, Nervous Cloud have presented themselves as unique and adorable with the tracks particularly worthy of praise being “Monarch”, “Summer of Love”, “Do” and “Quit” – these songs provide you with a summary of their musical abilities and enjoyably eccentric appeal.

However with Wiggins and Sterling having been involved in numerous bands in the past, although it provides them with a strong basis of experience, one just hopes that they will now use this to gain the recognition that all their hard work on this album deserves.

Release: 9th September 2012, Self-release

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