NRVS LVRS – “Whatever & Ever” (2019)
Hz Castle Records
By Caroline Anne
Band photo by Hailley Howard
“Whatever & Ever” is the latest single from NRVS LVRS, a San Francisco based, electronic pop duo made of real-life wife and husband Bevin Fernandez (keyboards, synth, vocals) and Andrew Gomez (guitar, vocals). Formed in 2014, NRVS LVRS curate from a diversity of genres on each album that are mesmerizing, inspiring and entertaining.
Upon a first listen to “Whatever & Ever,” one might feel like they’ve been transported into a John Hughes soundtrack via some sort of time warp. Gomez’s deep, dark, soul-penetrating vocals recall an early Matt Johnson (The The) whereas Fernandez’s rhythmic, industrial styling is reminiscent of Depeche Mode (“Master & Servant”) and New Order (“Bizarre Love Triangle”) but with a modern touch, almost as if a brand new keyboard is playing an old, familiar song.
The track starts off with a bubblegum pop of sugary keys that lay a sweet texture of sound over the battle of sour emotions such as self-deprecation, angst and indecision, all lyrically illustrated throughout the single with a sensitivity that doesn’t leave the listener hopeless.
The first words of the track, “another day, another number,” as well as statements like “every face is like the other and in the latest fashion,” could be references to the over-saturation of selfies on social media while lyrics like “always tired, always late, overworked and underpaid” might refer to spending too much time on one’s cell phone.
“I’m pretty sure I’m getting dumber or just distracted. I’ll buy a book and read the cover, as long as it’s attractive,” Gomez shamelessly sings before declaring “Music keeps me entertained.”
I agree. And “Whatever & Ever” is certainly an entertaining song. When the chorus appears a minute into the track, Fernandez adds the airy, angelic vocals that lift up any feelings of indifference when Gomez sings: “Shouting and screaming in the streets. A cry for help but not from me. Whatever and ever and over again.”
At 2:00 minutes into the 3:17 track, a barrage of drum tracks erupt like fireworks landing on a tin roof, happily bouncing off the listener’s ears for 30 seconds while Gomez’s vocals become increasingly enraged, yelling “another shot, another fire, I can’t tell them apart.” Fernandez and Gomez’s vocals climax into the chorus which repeats several times before it gently and quietly fades out.
Is “Whatever & Ever” a comment on a the dystopian state of social networking or the state of the nation? One may not know, without asking the artist. What is known: NRVS LVRS is a band with a bit of an edge and the courage to speak up on issues and current events.
“Whatever & Ever” is highly recommended for purchase so that it can be played…over and over and over again.