Cub Sport’s emotionally charged album LIKE NIRVANA is a collection of 13 liberating songs that explore love, masculinity, queer identity, religious and social pressures, and empowerment in a hauntingly beautiful way.
The alt-pop Brisbane group explore the mixed life experiences of frontman Tim Nelson in their fourth studio album through powerful lyricism and sonic beauty. The album was set to be released in May however this was postponed to July due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Tim Nelson is raw and open in his brave exploration of identity, sexuality, and the journey to who he is today.
Whispery sentiments overlay piano in ‘Confessions’ morphing into electronically distorted vocals. Tim Nelson explores the societal pressure to fit into a specific gender and how gender binary makes him question his place in society.”The truth is living by a gender makes me feel annoyed, the truth is I still don’t feel like I fit in anywhere,” sings Nelson.
In an Instagram post, Nelson noted his difficulties with gender and belonging, “the gender binary has made navigating life more difficult”. With electronic melodies, strumming guitars and crackling vocals ‘Confessions’ is Nelson’s truth, exposing his inner thoughts, demons, and troubles in a chaotic world that is hard to navigate for those who don’t fit into the societal norms.
‘My Dear (Can I Tell You My Greatest Fears)’ is soft and sorrowful with Nelson singing straight from the heart exploring his childhood where he was “always on the sidelines, I was looking out wondering where my story begins”. ‘I Feel Like I Am Changin'” is airy and ethereal with swirling vocals and soft beats that bring this track together as a peaceful ballad that enchants the listener. ‘Drive’ is an intimate track with slow guitar accompaniments and delicate vocals that explores love and adoration, bringing a lighter tone to the album
‘Break Me Down’ with Brisbane artist Mallrat is a melodic seven-minute track that is peaceful and cathartic with lyrics that are loving and tender. “Sometimes you’re so perfect that it’s hurting me, wish I could dig deeper give you more of me,” sings Nelson with passion. The addition of woodwind instruments in-amongst the piano and emotional vocals create a spiritual ambience when listening to this song.
‘Saint’ is a rich song with a strong message to love yourself for who you are regardless of religion or societal pressures. Nelson sings about the pressures from Church and religion to be a certain way and the emotional pain it has caused him. Nelson recalls emotional traumas from his past in the lyrics, “So many nights spent crying trying, holding my hands together finish with an amen like dear god sorry that I’m me someone I don’t wanna be, so I’m lying here crying begging you to change me”. This song ranges from pop to R&B with bouncing beats and distorted vocals making ‘Saint’ a really strong track on the album with an important message amongst a fabulous tune.
The album finishes with the track ‘Grand Canyon’ which incorporates organs and heavenly vocals that create a spiritual experience. The lyrics are empowering and uplifting, “You’re a mountain baby, Grand Canyon, you hold all the power if you believe it then you can yeah”. The choir-like vocals give the song a divine and holy feeling aiming to embolden the listener. ‘Grand Canyon’ is transfixed in positivity ending the album on a positive and loving note.
LIKE NIRVANA is an exploratory album that touches on lead singer Tim Nelson and the personal journey he has embarked on throughout 13 stunning tracks. Nelson exposes his personal traumas with gender, sexuality, religion, and individuality. Each track is sonically beautiful taking the listener through the ups and downs of the lead singer’s life. The album displays queer-love and self-love as major themes throughout the tracklist layered in amongst melodic songs that resonate pure beauty and musical genius. This album is a must-listen!
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