Music business and lockdown—has the industry gone digital?
Last week saw the release of Die Nerven's sixth studio album, "Die Nerven." The self-titled LP is, for me, probably the most important musical pulse-check of the outgoing year. Those who sometimes feel crushed by the heaviness of world events, and have a weakness for gloomy German-language guitar music, can find healing in this bold artifice. But what is the light in all the darkness of "Die Nerven"?
The echo of the record has gradually reflected after several times of listening through. The ductus is clear: On this album, the musicians Kevin Kuhn, Max Rieger, and Julian Knoth look directly into the present darkness of Germany, Europe, and the world. "I can feel it, the wrong time, would rather have light than darkness," it says quite early in the great reckoning with our country "I die every day in Germany" and more or less confirms with just one line what power and meaning the music carries. Die Nerven do not capitulate to the future, but answer the question of what should oppose stupidity and violence: beauty.
Listening to the trio, we live in a dark, threatening tunnel. By presenting their view of things and letting us share in their feelings, they challenge us to take a closer look, because beyond the tunnel there is more to discover than what makes us wander around nebulously at the moment. And with this they do a disservice to me, a listener who has not always been completely devoted to their music either. Because the most important thing for society is that it perseveres, that it doesn't let itself get down.
In a time filled with worries and fears, they revive the sense of playfulness and show that the work of an artist, quite fundamentally, is indispensable. They build an album-length bridge with which we gain access to ourselves and to life. Once this sphere of feeling is released, we experience energies that, no matter how a work may seem, are always positive, both ethically and aesthetically. They give us back the ability to enjoy the beautiful. A quality that is no longer taken for granted in contemporary music.
In my opinion, we are all aware of the beginning of a new world. However, it is sometimes very difficult to talk about it. That's where music comes in. "Die Nerven" by Die Nerven, is moving. It forces optimism in an end time mood. The album strikes me as a sense of new freedom; a freedom we must all strive to believe in. This work helps with that, and makes Die Nerven's self-titled—and what may be known as their "Black Album"—one of the most valuable releases in a long time
Originally published on November 7, 2022, updated on November 10, 2022