A LETTER TO THE FANS: Why Tim Nelson ‘Had’ To Write Cub Sport’s New Album

24 July 2020 | 9:00 am | The Music Team

There's a tonne of new music released every Friday and wading through it to find your next favourite album is an almost impossible task. 'The Music' team get it and we're here to help, bringing you our Album Of The Week each Friday. Here's why Cub Sport's album 'Like Nirvana' gets our pick.

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As Cub Sport's Tim Nelson notes below, the group's new LP, Like Nirvana, is an uplifting release that doesn't shy away from the shadows, "it embraces both the light and dark with warmth."

The alt-pop group from Brisbane today released their fourth album, which is a collection of soft, dreamy pop songs. Originally slated for a May release, Like Nirvana was pushed back due to the COVID pandemic, but by all accounts, the wait was worth it.

What we're saying... 

"Like Nirvana is an emotional voyage of self-discovery that celebrates the joys of life. This album captures some of Tim Nelson's most vulnerable moments. Elegantly understated and, for the most part, supremely chill, Cub Sport have stripped back the synth-pop hooks to create mellow clouds of sound intended to provide a little comfort and succour. 

"Introspective songs like Break Me Down, featuring Mallrat, wallow in bittersweet melancholic moods. Nelson’s angelic falsetto soars and swoops around us on songs like 18 and Grand Canyon to spellbinding effect. The distorted grit of the single Confessions is the only track that strikes a somewhat dissonant note, but it gathers momentum with driving pop melodies."

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What they're saying....

Here, Cub Sport's Tim Nelson shares an exclusive open letter to fans about Like Nirvana.

Dear readers of The Music and listeners of our music,

I don’t know quite how to put the experience that is Like Nirvana into words, so I’m going to highlight a few of the lyrics from the album that shed some light on why I had to make this album and what it means to me.

In Confessions there’s a line 'the truth is I’m looking for myself and I can’t see it in anybody’. And I couldn’t, but now I can. It sounds a little cliché but this album has helped me find and love myself more deeply. I listen to this album and I can see, hear, feel ‘me.’ It’s the gentle and powerful energy of the introvert empath who, for some reason, is drawn to the light, even though they’re scared of it sometimes and feel more at home in the shadows. It’s the acknowledgement of lingering trauma, an embracing of the journey, rather than a need to see and understand the destination.

The track Nirvana is kind of the title track. It embodies some of the most important lessons I’ve learned over the last year. ‘Free myself from ego’s chains, free my body from my mind, leave the painful parts behind.’ It’s about learning my own worth outside of other peoples’ perception of me. In western society, we’re largely taught that our value is tied to the material things we have, how we appear to others, our career progress, what the world tells us about ourselves. I wanted to strip all of that away and form my own self not built by others. It’s by no means easy to do, but being aware of when your actions are motivated by ego/fear rather than love can be a strong guiding force.

In the second verse of 18 there’s a line ‘sorry, didn’t wanna make this sad, guess I wrote this all to try and heal from that, to let me feel all that’. I always wanted this album to be uplifting. I think in my mind I had this idea that to be uplifting it had to sound ‘happy’ but I couldn’t write any happy-sounding songs that I was excited about, but rather these cinematic, all-encompassing laments. I had to write this album as part of my healing process, I had to let myself feel everything and experience and live all of the emotions that were weighing on me. And I feel like that’s what has made Like Nirvana such an uplifting record in its completion; it doesn’t shy away from the shadows, it embraces both the light and dark with warmth and I hope it sets other people free in ways that it’s done for me.

The closing song on the album is Grand Canyon. I wrote this song for someone very dear to me. I wanted them to see themself the way that I see them. ‘You’re a mountain, baby, Grand Canyon, you hold all the power if you believe it then you can, yeah. Too much of an angel to be held down, your battles, too much of an angel to be held down.’ It’s anthemic and soaring, pure power and warmth. It ended up becoming a reminder to me of my own power when I needed encouragement. I feel like this song was brought to me for the purpose of inspiring and empowering people who need it. And that goes beyond this song alone, I feel like that’s largely why Like Nirvana the album came to me.

Thank you if you’re reading this! I would love for you to lie somewhere comfortable, smoke a joint if that’s your thing, relax, listen to this album start to finish and see where it takes you.

All of my love,

Tim ❤

Listen to Like Nirvana below!