Erik Nervous: Shipshewana Swimming 7"

Lumpy Records


So, a while back I got an email from this guy named Erik Hart . He asked some questions regarding the NWI scene, I answered to the best of my ability, and that was pretty much the end of it. A few weeks later, I got another email from Erik. This time, he hooked me up with D.L.I.M.C.'s July Cassingle, and told me about how he was able to share his tape with Mark Winter and Martin Meyer at a show in Kalamazoo. They loved it; in fact, they offered to distribute it under their own respective labels. That seemed so fucking cool to me. Erik's only eighteen, yet here he is, single-handedly producing a tape on a 4-track that wowed Marky AND Marty. Since then, I've been genuinely interested to see what'd become of this, and I wasn't graced with Erik's presence again until yesterday. Only then did he provide me with a link to his newly-released debut cassette, Shipshewana Swimming.

Our take: I am pretty unapologetically into the whole NWI (Northwest Indiana) thing. After hardcore being basically afraid of melody for so long, it's nice to hear some people injecting some pop back into the songwriting equation. I'm not sure if Erik Nervous is from NWI precisely, but with releases on DLIMC and Lumpy he certainly has the cred to hang with that crew, and this debut vinyl is nothing short of fantastic. It's funny, though, while this is definitely on the more melodic end of the spectrum even for NWI-type stuff, it almost sounds like punky indie rock. If you told me that the three originals on this 7" were unreleased Parquet Courts tunes I don't think that I would bat an eyelash... and I mean that in the best way possible. Parquet Courts are one of my favorite current bands and I think that they're some of the best songwriters currently in the game, and Erik's songs meet that same standard. The record is finished up with a cover of an old power-pop tune by a band called the 2x4s, and it's also brilliant. Even more melodic, this sounds like it could have come right off of Pavement's Slanted and Enchanted or Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain (it's also, in case you're wondering, a pretty big improvement on the original). These four tracks certainly give you a lot to go on, but at the same time they feel like the tip of the iceberg. I could see this Erik kid going really far, and this EP eventually becoming a footnote in a rich history. Until then, it's an absolutely brilliant record.
Tags: 10s gb325 melodic punk raw recommended