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  • Bryon Harris

Nothing but a Nightmare - 'Livin' a Lie'

Review by Matt Wong & Staff

Alternative/Rock/Pop band Nothing but a Nightmare was founded in 2017 by five high school best friends in Langhorne, PA. In 2018 they released their first two singles, "The Girl from Scandinavia" and "Down That Road No More." The music video for "The Girl from Scandinavia" was a hit with local teens and the press. In February 2019, the band released their debut album "Nostalgia," followed by three singles including their top streamed song and music video "Can't Fix Stupid." Nothing but a Nightmare has opened for Andy Grammer; the band offers a dynamic and exciting live performance. After a short hiatus, they have returned with their latest singles "Sittin' in the Corner (Friday Night in Boston)" and "Living in a Lie."

“Living in a Lie” begins with a fuzzy guitar riff, bass, and a groovy beat. Pristine and chart-worthy pop vocals enter on the first verse to only bass and drums. Halfway through the verse, the guitar and keys re-enter playing a staccato comping figure. From the start, the arrangement, musicianship, and vocals are very engaging. Mixing elements of rock with radio-ready pop, the band yields a very unique and exciting sound.

The chorus brings in well arranged and executed background vocals which nicely enhance the melody.

"This is my premonition Girls girls girls they rule the world Damage your reputation Girls girls girls they fool the world Goddamn your preconceptions Your love needs my attention I can't stop living in a lie Living in a lie"

The background vocals continue on the second verse giving listeners interesting harmonies to take in. After another chorus, the song enters its bridge which is a steep sonic climb to peak dynamics before scaling back for the outro. The EQ choice to exaggerate mid-range frequencies was a unique and creative production choice that works well.

The lyrics in “Living in a Lie” convey the thoughts and feelings of a guy who watches his best friend get married while being in love with her. The band tells this narrative through lyrics such as “Can’t defend these thoughts in my head” and “She don’t know that the one she loves is not so hard to find.” A contrasting section whispers, "speak now or forever hold your peace."

“Living in a Lie” by Nothing but a Nightmare is an excellent song by a tight band with a unique sound. The song is well written, particularly the lyrics and the story that they convey, and the band brings them out with parts that serve the song well and surprise the ears. The band’s talent, high level of musicianship, and vocal appeal is evident on this recording. Nothing but a Nightmare is a dream come true for fans of unique and engaging alternative pop music.

For more information on Nothing but a Nightmare, please visit their website.

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