Essential Mix Review: Nervo proves stage presence secondary, impresses and surprises with eclectic debut
You’ve seen them on CoverGirl commercials during this year’s Super Bowl. You just saw them DJ MTV’s VMA red carpet where they were named two of the best dressed celebrities by Elle. You’ve seen them at the biggest festivals the country has to offer. You are infatuated by Miriam and Olivia Nervo. Their bubbly personalities glow while they’re in the DJ booth and you can’t keep your eyes off the contagious smiles or fun-loving shoulder sways. But that’s not the only reason these twins naturally capture hearts; their live sets are something to marvel at musically. Taking to Pete Tong’s BBC Radio 1 last weekend, the Nervo girls were up to bat with Essential Mix duties. Up against two hours on the clock to impress sonically without their adoring stage presence.
No glowing blonde hair? No cheek-to-cheek smiles? No in-booth dancing? No problem. Liv and Mim didn’t need their unmatched stage presence for their first ever Essential Mix, and they proved that their appeal is just as strong sonically as it is visually. Masked behind global airwaves, the duo took the opportunity to prove their talents. While they succeeded greatly in this area, they also flaunted something greater than what most already know and many could already assume. Unbounded by an audience with festival preference, the twins explained; “We structured this Essential Mix much like we do our Nervo Nation radio shows, where we start a little housier, build it up, and then end on a deeper note.”
Kicking off the mix with Breach’s “Jack,” Liv and Mim instantly showed their hands and inadvertently sent the message that their own preferences go far beyond their own pop-house productions. Following in the same vein and digging even deeper, Tom Staar’s edit of Friend Within’s “Renegade” came next before a hard hitting future Dada Life track introduced what would become the electro-inclined portion of the mix.
Jan Blomqvist’s “Big Jet Plane” took hold as bootlegged with the vocals for “We’re All No One” and soon after was a remix of “Reason” by Reid Stefan, both of which enabled Nervo to segway into insignia from their classic house introduction period. Building up from club-geared tunes to festival-paced mashups of their own, the twins were in full force shortly into their two-hour outing. Elevating a classic dance feel into an arena-like energy with an organic and nearly unnoticed shift, enchanting vocals began to weave summer dominating drops. Representative of their live sets, the build and blend had listeners lost within the music without thought of a bubbly blonde pointing at the crowd or bouncing behind the decks.
The latter half of the mix brought Vicetone’s remix of “Hold On” and their Nicky Romero collaboration “Like Home” to fans who fancy the serenade of Nervo. For those fans, and all fans alike, a future release from the sisters was premiered — their collaboration with Ivan Gough rumored to be titled “Not Taking This No More.”
Keeping their lovable voices in the ears of international attendance but sticking to their promise of a deep finale, the twins dropped Marco V’s take on “You’re Gonna Love Again” before a Lee Wells Mashup of “Something To Believe In” readied an exponentially energetic closing. After Mak J’s “Hakaka” came Paul Woolford’s “Untitled” and Stateless’ “Bloodstream,” two records to wrap up Essential Mix duties as deep as they promised, if not deeper.
For their first ever Essential Mix, these two CoverGirl sisters flexed their musical muscles in a way fans hadn’t had the chance to see in their live set. Without having to put on an act or having to appeal to a limited audience, the Aussie’s gifted an eclectic mix that likely won’t be presented at their next festival gig. Without having all eyes upon them, literally, Nervo let their track selection and incredible mixing do the walking and talking. Better yet, they let their talents do all the smiling, dancing, and shoulder swaying fans could hope for.