Simplicity at its finest
Countless artists have their careers cut short due to an inability to get away from the original sound or concept that garnered them praise and appeal in the early stages of their career. In many cases, artists that cannot evolve end up stuck in the mud. Jenny Lewis is not one of these artists. The former lead singer of indie rock outfit Rilo Kiley, along with Erika Forster of Au Revoir Simone and Tennessee Thomas of the Like, have formed a new band called Nice as F*#k (NAF). The super-group’s first single “Door,” off of their self-titled, surprise-release LP, is a post-punk achievement that combines more modern singing styles with simple, old school rock instrumentals. The consistent rock beat percussion and throbbing bass plucks throughout the song immediately bring to mind comparisons to the Ramones because of the song’s fast paced, but still relatively calm nature.
Jenny Lewis’ soft but sturdy, uplifting voice, which sounds like a combination of Clive Farrington (lead singer of When in Rome) and Danielle Haim (lead singer of Haim), echoes its way through the track, accounting for the present calmness, contrasting against the energetic, pulsating instrumentals. While other songs on the newly released LP feature synths, “Door” is a picture of simplicity, featuring only drum kit percussion, bass guitar, and vocals, a feat rarely attempted in the last decade. Lewis’ voice provides melodic support to the song and makes you not even realize there is only bass and drums until after the song is over. NAF’s confidence is palpable - from the use of an expletive in their name to the purposeful absence of guitar in a rock song, this band knows what they want and they are going after it.