Listening to Nieves has always made me want to find my closest friends and hug them tight. There’s a deep sorrow that pervades their music, a mortality that weighs on every line. You may never feel the value of life and love so much as when you listen to “Straight Line” (perhaps the finest piece the Glasgow-based indie rock band has produced).
Nieves’ new double A-side single, “Roughcast/Dove” (released on July 6), continues to showcase their talent for heart-wrenching anthems.
Even without listening closely to the lyrics, you can tell that “Roughcast” is going to be a heavy song. An honest and heartfelt plea to a friend grappling with substance abuse, “Roughcast” is dejected but not despairing. The singer holds out hope that his friend will pull through, and tries to convince him not to throw away his life:
You’re the first to play it down
But you’re the centre we all find
No, we can’t move without you, precious spine
“Dove” seems to continue the story, as Nieves’ signature percussive piano style undergirds more heavy lyrics. This time the singer expresses frustration at the intruder that is death, and a resolve to stand firm against utter despair:
The gale you sent has ripped my pole from ground
Just a hole beneath my feet—I stand for nothing
But it means something now
In a way, “Roughcast/Dove” is nothing new. It doesn’t push the boundaries of style or subject matter. But it doesn’t need to. Nieves has a unique gift for making their audience feel—not by manipulation, but by raw reflection on the struggles and pain of everyday life. “Roughcast” and “Dove” are worthy additions to Nieves’ growing collection of quality music.
Interested in learning more about Nieves? Check out our interview with Nieves singer Brendan Dafters.
If you’re in the Glasgow area on August 12, be sure to swing by SWG3 for Nieves’ biggest headline show to date! You’ll be impressed, and we’ll be totally jealous. You can find tickets here.