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Surreal Nation’s I Know Better EP Review

Surreal Nation's indie alt-rock-pop EP, 'I Know Better.'

The cover for Surreal Nation’s indie alt-rock-pop EP, ‘I Know Better.’

Band: Surreal Nation; Nikki Nation-vocas; Jackson Vari-lead guitar; Paul Joseph-guitar; Kevin Curry-bass; and Gene Nelson-drums

EP: I Know Better

Securing a focused and unified sense of purpose and drive with their collaborators can be a challenging process for creative and emotionally driven musicians who are eager to share their sentiments with the world. But the recently formed and multi-faceted quintet, Surreal Nation, which is led by singer Nikki Nation, has crafted genuine and emotionally-driven noir songs together for its upcoming third EP, ‘I Know Better.’ The five-track album, which is set to be distributed early next year, grippingly proves that the musicians have naturally and quickly bonded together, and skillfully marked their place in the indie music world.

The natural chemistry between the musicians in the band, which hails from Smyrna, Delaware, highlights their courage and resolve throughout ‘I Know Better.’ The record, which was powerfully written during some of the group members’ darkest times, proves their determination to succeed in improving themselves and achieving their goals.

The first enthralling entry on the indie alt-rock EP is the playfully titled ‘Would You Do Me the Honor of Being My Mexican Divorce,’ which chronicles the quest of searching for true love. The up-tempo instrumentation, as well as the innovative vocals from Nation, chronicle the singer’s initial contact with someone she wants to get to know. Driven by inventive drumbeats and an indie-rock driven guitar solo, the addictive and emotional lyrics intensely state how the singer wants to protect her heart, as she desires more from her relationship. Nation relatably declares that she’ll know her love is real when she’s satisfied and fulfilled in her relationship.

The initial punk song then delves into the album’s title track, ‘I Know Better,’ which intriguingly changes tempos several times throughout its nearly six-minute playtime. Starting off with a slower, gentle pace before diving into a faster tempo, the tune notes how the singer has realized that she has made a mistake in getting into the relationship. The song acts as motivational anthem for women who are determined to take control over their lives again after they leave abusive relationships. The instrumentally layered and pulsating entry features Nation intensely stating that she won’t make the mistake of letting her former partner back into her life. The record’s sophomore effort is the perfect declaration of independence for women who refuse to let themselves be taken advantage of in relationships.

‘I Know Better’ than transitions into the track, ‘I Can Feel the Night,’ which once again proves Surreal Nation’s ability to authentically switch between genres. Influenced by the punk and Rock and Roll sensibilities that heavily influenced the genre in the ’80s, Nation effortlessly evokes the sound of such new waves vocalists as The Motels’ Martha Davis and The Buggles’ Trevor Horn. As one of Surreal Nation’s standout entries on its latest record, due to its poetic, melodic and intricate vocals and instrumentation, it highlights Nation’s authentic maturing in life.

Following ‘I Can Feel the Night’ is the tranquil tune, ‘Hangtime,’ which features a more relaxed vibe. Nation reflects on the thought-provoking time between when a situation ends and then things begin to fall apart. The soulful, raw and acoustic vocals and instrumentation that the band creates are powerfully raw, as the members try to determine how to contend with unpredictable concerns.

‘I Know Better’ ends with its best entry, which is titled ‘Spirit is Silent.’ The song features a stunning mix of jazz, folk and Indie Rock guitar riffs and drum beats, as Nation tries to accept the ending of her relationship, and the process of trying to move forward. The track offers a freeing sense of closure, as she notes that her spirit has been given hope that she can move on.

Securing a strong connection with their collaborators can be a challenging process for creative and emotionally driven musicians who are eager to share their sentiments with the world. But the members of Surreal Nation have effortlessly proved that powerful bonds are possible with its haunting and emotionally-driven noir tracks for its latest EP, ‘I Know Better.’ The album grippingly proves that Nation and her fellow musicians have naturally and quickly bonded together, and skillfully marked their place in the indie music world. The alluring record is a versatile collection that highlights the talent and uniqueness of a thoughtful group of creative musicians.

For more information on Surreal Nation, visit the band’s official website, as well as its Facebook and Twitter pages.

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As a life-long fan of entertainment, particularly films, television and music, and an endless passion for writing, Karen Benardello decided to combine the two for a career. She graduated from New York's LIU Post with a B.F.A in Journalism, Print and Electronic. While still attending college, Karen began writing for Shockya during the summer of 2007, when she began writing horror movie reviews. Since she began writing for Shockya, Karen has been promoted to the position of Senior Movies & Television Editor. Some of her duties in the position include interviewing filmmakers and musicians, producing posts on celebrity news and contributing reviews on albums and concerts. Some of her highlights include attending such festivals and conventions as the Tribeca Film Festival, the New York Film Festival, SXSW, Toronto After Dark, the Boston Film Festival and New York Comic-Con.

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