- Lavenderlux, Nest Inertia
Listening to Nest Inertia, the new EP from Lavenderlux, is a lot like watching an "overstuff" scene in a television sitcom: Picture a closet jammed with junk, closed with a full-body, butt-to-door bump. The latch clicks, and everything's calm.
Until it isn't.
Sparked by something small — a sudden sneeze, a cat's meow — the tension breaks, the door springs free and out tumbles a shower of stuff: clothes, junk mail, bowling balls. Pandora's box is pried open.
This five-song collection, cowritten by Vermonter Amelia Wilcox and Washingtonian Joseph Human, is more antsy than antic, exploring how to cope when the sprung-free stuff is confusion and anxiety.
The liner notes describe Lavenderlux as a positive pandemic offshoot, born remotely, and the EP, released July 5, as a "step forward in life and music." The EP's title comes from a quote in Austrian poet Rainer Maria Rilke's "Letters to a Young Poet." As the liner notes continue, the EP explores "the idea of getting trapped within the safe or familiar places and notions we create for ourselves ... and finding the strength to move outside."
To quote Rilke, "It is not inertia alone that is responsible for human relationships repeating themselves ... it is shyness before any sort of new, unforeseeable experience with which one does not think oneself able to cope."
The strain of coping shows in every track. "Itching" struggles to leave bed — "Can't seem to wake up / It's too cold now," Wilcox sings — then slogs through drudgery: hair appointment scheduling, coin-op laundry visits, possible catchall drawer sifting. "Can you help me with this disposition?" Wilcox sings in frustration. "Change hasn't come."
"Time Lapse" grabs in vain at passing time. "Give me, give me, give me, give me just a minute," Wilcox pleads. "I need, I need, I need, I need a minute." Then, the EP's strongest track, "Sneaking Out," which stylistically resembles Best Coast, Tennis and the Innocence Mission, leaks despair. "Trying to keep it / All under wraps but I am afraid I'm letting it out," Wilcox sings. "Lately I've been so out of my mind I know you see it sneaking out."
As the Greek myth goes, once hardships and pestilence escaped Pandora's box, she closed it quickly, saving hope inside. Ending Nest Inertia with a hopeful flash on closer "On the Mend," Wilcox sings, "Oh, in a place that I used to break / Let me try again."
Nest Inertia is available at lavenderlux.bandcamp.com.