Alternative rock used to mean something in that it was the outsider’s alternative to the mainstream mundanities all too common in rock n’ roll at the highest level of the industry, but in 2021, the term refers almost exclusively to the post-90s, punk-influenced sounds of non-throwback artists dominating college radio. It isn’t often that I come across a true alternative to the status quo, but when I do, I don’t forget about it – hence why Nané’s new single “Seventeen” feels like such a memorable release of the past summer. Nané actually does something outside the lines here, and their efforts are garnering a lot of acclaim.
The lead vocal in “Seventeen” cuts through just about anything sitting in front of it without much help from behind the mixing board, and I personally really have to wonder just how powerful a presence it would have in concert. There’s no question that Nané has a very guitar-oriented approach to hooks and harmonies, but without the voice at the helm of this project, I don’t know that a song like this on would feel as removed from the average content we’re seeing every day on the FM dial this year.
Watch the video for “Seventeen” below
Both the music video for “Seventeen” and the single on its own are supremely produced, and I like that the latter emphasizes the swagger this band has without sacrificing any of the wittiness they’re bringing to the narrative. Nané doesn’t really care about conventional concepts, but it’s obvious that they take the more minute details in their songcraft a lot more seriously than a lot of their peers both in and outside of the American underground do right now. You can’t accuse them of playing fast and loose in the studio, which has been my biggest complaint about the competition in recent times.
Nané deliver us a real mind-bender of a single/video combo in “Seventeen” this October that rockers need to hear for themselves at least once before the autumnal season has come to an end. Alternative rock will never be quite what it was some thirty years ago, but with regards to making something that rebels against the predictable in rock music today, Nané has the right idea with what they’re producing in this latest release. Filled with as much humility as it is a humble sense of obligation towards the model indie rockers who came before them worked so hard to create, “Seventeen” is every bit the youthful jam its name would have us believe it could be.