• Travis Salviejo

Drive Safe through a sea of yearning with debut single from Canberra's newest artist

Photo: Claire Warren

Lockdown has been a wild time for everyone, for some creatives it was a time intended for writing, painting, creating but for many the realities of the outside world or the bizarre sensation of being stuck inside proved more of a roadblock than a creative launching platform. As a musician I wish I was finishing the year with a song as solid as Nervous Energy by Drive Safe, a remarkable debut that leaves me wanting more.

Drive Safe is the new solo project from Canberra/Ngunnawal Country's latest import from Melbourne/Naarm that blends the emo/alt rock vibes from previous project Frowny Dads with the musical experimentation and exploration into the world of synths and production that lockdown provided. This song shows the hard work that the artist has gone to in efforts to capture a sound unique to themselves, taking influences from a whole range of places and blending them in a way all their own.

I love the way that the synths sit with the guitars, both elements adding rhythmic and harmonic interest to the piece, acting as a guiding bed for the deceptively simple vocal line and the addition of the bass, drums and doubled vocals (a very nice touch for the choruses) fleshes out the song to moments where it is huge and anthemic but also lends itself to smaller, more intimate moments as listeners almost lean into the track. Lyrically the song seemed fitting as an anthem for 2020, even though it was written about another circumstance, as the artist shares their personal reflections on love over distances, being in a new place and missing home, even though the place you are is wonderful, all of which are themes that I think were common among people during the more extreme lockdown periods here in Australia.

I am in awe of the lyrics, particularly in the early verses of the song as they are delivered in a very natural way, almost as if the listener is listening to one half of a conversation where the person, they can hear is rhyming the whole time. As well as the beauty in the simplicity of the delivery the content strikes me as real and unfiltered, something I always appreciate when I hear a song.

And after four days I came home I washed the sad away like I always do

And after two days I couldn’t get clean I guess ill never be ready to leave

And I am every bit as full of shit as you think I am

Just hope you think that that’s ok

I am very excited to hear and see more of Drive Safe, Nervous Energy being available on Spotify as well as a demo being out there on the Stay at Home Sundays' Girls Rock fundraiser compilation on Bandcamp but if this song is anything to go by I am ready to have my heart broken by Drive Safe again and again and again.

You can find Drive Safe on Facebook / Instagram / Spotify / Bandcamp / Unearthed