Sensory impairment often forces the afflicted to rethink their entire existence. In the case of former Great Lake Swimmers drummer Colin Huebert, a mysterious inner ear condition eventually resulted in him retreating into silence; his therapeutic rebound has taken the form of Nervous, a lush, stunning baroque rock album that delicately balances Huebert's inner auditory tension with an expansive orchestral palette.
Whereas Siskiyou's first two albums were more folk-inclined, Nervous takes a different approach, with hushed, haunted art rock as a sturdy — but eerie — sonic base upon which the orchestral elements stand fully supported. Guest contributors, including collaborators extraordinaires Colin Stetson and Owen Pallett, add some textural flourishes and diversity to the record to better allow for an intriguing listening journey from start to finish. This allows for a varied but still cohesive journey, where songs like the tense, whispered "Violent Motion Pictures" and upbeat, Arcade Fire-indebted "Imbecile Thoughts" can not only coexist but also complement each other.
With each song finely crafted and composed, Nervous is an exploration of sonic tension that ultimately wrings beauty from an undesirable situation. ()