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Joordan Mackay (FI) – “Nervous”

Joordan Mackay‘s two members have never met in real life. The Finnish duo’s songs come together without the two people involved in it ever meeting face to face. Sure, the story of a band’s members meeting on the Internet before uniting in person for one, and then many, jam sessions is already a familiar tale, but Joordan Mackay’s mere existence takes this trope to the next level.

Its music is deeply digital too. “Nervous,” its debut single (Joordan Mackay is truly a brand new artist, as its Facebook page currently has just four likes), washes its sunbathed pop music in electronic elements galore. Its phaser-infused, gentle but turbulent guitar loops might be the only non-synthetic part present other than the vocals, which are as impassioned and anxious as they are nasal and featherlight. The song is otherwise built mostly on a rudimentary but effective drum track and mood-defining synthetic patter that deploys a moderate tremolo to tremendous effect.

Although its palette is minimal, “Nervous” sounds rather gigantic, the sort of song that could inspire a stadium-sized singalong if it weren’t so obviously the work of deeply restrained artists. Nothing about “Nervous” signifies that Joordan Mackay is the sort of duo looking to plaster its faces everywhere, be it the titular refrain of “you make me nervous” or the psychedelically distant music video. Little is clear about the two people who appear in the video other than the fact that they’re ostensibly the duo’s members; sunglasses and dizzying visual effects obscure pretty much anything that might be recognizable about them.

“Nervous” is a stunning debut from an artist worth keeping an eye on. The thing is, these two have been making music together since 2016. “Nervous” has taken so long to emerge because Joordan Mackay was deciding the specific musical style in which they’d create music. Certainly, a choice this hefty can bring about the sort of nervousness the duo already excels at exploring.

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