In their new single “How Do You Feel,” pop-rockers BlueNevada takes searing strings, blistering beats, and uncompromisingly heavy electric fretwork and combines them into a true melting pot of melodicism. Similar stylizations of songs like this one have been big lately, and although others in the underground have proven undeniably tough to beat, instead of trying to overtake the status of their rivals, BlueNevada develops their own concept surrounding the arrangement and execution of this song. Their performance is razor-sharp from the get-go, but they don’t waste any time trying to dazzle us with the sort of bells and whistles that their peers would employ in an endeavor like this one.
The main focus here is the feverish guitar play; the lyrics are used to frame the riff in the chorus instead of the other way around, and the vocal through which they’re communicated is angsty and reminiscent of R.E.M. in their prime. Fusing all of the best features in alternative pop and the hardest of hard rock, BlueNevada turns in a real classic of their own in this white-hot new single.
There’s a lot of emphasis on the vocal in this mix, but I think it was required to demonstrate the sonic depth of the recording. A lot of artists wouldn’t have thought to put as much stock in the verses simply because of the options presented by the string arrangement up front, but I like that BlueNevada decided to go with the setup they did here. “How Do You Feel” never feels like a throwback song because of the original, unforced passion that they put into their performance, and the precision with which they strike.
The bass is almost as powerful in the mix as the guitar parts are, but this doesn’t yield any muddiness in the big picture; by using the low-end tones to straddle the larger rhythm created by the drums, BlueNevada unleashes a harmonic hurricane that doesn’t become assaultive until there’s nothing we can do to stop it. They thought this single out, and that’s obvious even from afar.
Rock rebellion gets a dose of blue-collar grit in BlueNevada’s “How Do You Feel,” which I would deem one of the best singles they have released since coming onto the scene not that long ago. Despite their indie status, I think it’s more than clear that this is a band still coming into its own (which is a good thing in my book). They’ve got so many different angles to their sound, and although multidimensionality has become a standard requirement among millennial audiences in the last five years or so, their brand of honest rock is a standout nonetheless. BlueNevada doesn’t have much distance between their moniker and the bright lights of primetime exposure, and if “How Do You Feel” can secure as much of an audience as their original content has, it could be the track to break them out of the underground that has held them and their closest peers back once and for all.