Nervous Girls (Tampa, Fla.) is indie punk/post-punk with a strong ’90s alternative influence. In particular, I’d bet the members of this band really enjoy Hole. Me too, so this EP instantly felt familiar by invoking some nostalgia. Vocals are a mix of urgent but melodic singing and screaming. Lyrically, this EP feels like a cathartic purge releasing the struggles inherent in the toxic parts of (usually heteronormative) dating in the U.S. They sing “break me until I’m beautiful” and “us girls we love our captors, they send us up in raptures and watch us fade out.” Working through those traumas they come out the other side with simple but powerful affirmations like repeating “I am I am I am I am.” “Thoughts and Prayers” is a little shoegazier in sound and lyrically questioning if we are a nation of escape routes, positing that we may need to fake our own deaths to be free. Coupled with the rest of the EP, this made me think of la petite mort (the little death) or the weakening of consciousness frequently associated with post orgasm—although faking this particular death will not set you free anymore than thoughts and prayers help victims of injustice. I suppose that’s the point: both help you escape accountability. –Lorien Lamarr (Self-released)