One of the weirdest things about falling in love is doing so knowing that what comes up ~usually~ must come down. Every sweet, intimate moment will be matched with a sour, lonely one. Each blissful day out in the sun will be mirrored with an angry night indoors with the curtains closed. An uplifted sense of freedom can just as quickly curdle into insecurity and discomfort, the whole thing turning in on itself and shifting as your feelings for that other person change, idealism and a cold awareness converging and exploding like a meeting of tides. Wow sorry if that sounds bleak, but also: such is life.
The new self-directed video for “Too Late” from London duo Nimmo (which we’re premiering below) articulates the very specific sort of pain that can follow the sweetness of romance. “Can I feel the air resting in your lungs tonight? / You’ve never known me less, but I keep you short of breath at night,” vocalist and co-producer Sarah sings, over deep violin strings and these intense, nocturnal electronic beats that make you feel as though you’re driving aimlessly around the city at night, stuck within your own circular ways of thinking. “It’s about losing someone that you were with and the weird places your head can go,” says Reva, who also sings and produces, when I ask about it over the phone. “It’s a tune about missing someone and those dark insular moments where you wish you could be inside their ears and in their pockets and all those creepy things.”
“Too Late” is particularly significant because it arrives nearly two years after Nimmo’s last release, “Dancing Makes Us Brave,” which landed after the now-independent band were signed to Sony. The latter was a bright, impactful single, with a polished, neon-sheened video to match. By contrast, this new video is minimal and stripped back, the lighting resembling the kind of mid-morning daylight that illuminates everyone’s faces clearly. Even the choreography – by Holly Blakey, who has helped everyone from Florence Welch to Young Fathers move their bodies to weird electronic sounds – is so subtle that it looks like natural movement. The result is both refreshing and unsettling, like staring at your own eyes really closely in the mirror.
According to the band, this was an intentional decision, meant to reflect a new chapter of independent vibes since parting ways with a major label. “We got so much out of the signing but we didn’t have time to find our feet. Me and Reva are a bit controlling of our own projects, and often when you sign to a major you hand over control, so it became quite a difficult place to be,” says Sarah. “Our last video was like a mad dream fulfilled – and it was exciting to make a video like that with a major – but for this one we wanted to strip it right back and stare down the lens and be like, ‘this is who we are’ in the most honest way.”
This may be a new chapter for Nimmo, but it is by no means the only time they’ve ventured into fresh territory. The pair have known each other since they were literally ten years old – after meeting on induction day at school – and their friendship has always existed alongside music and trying out different sounds within it. “Growing up in London we used to listen to a lot of garage and jungle after school. We’d have these little projects going; making mixtapes and MCing together. We went through every phase and genre,” Sarah tells me. They carried on making music together throughout school, while at university and into their twenties. “It’s just what our friendship was from the very beginning,” adds Reva. “It has always been less ‘thought out’ than forming a band.”
They’re now both 28, and their friendship seems just as telepathic as ever: both on stage, on record and – as I notice while chatting to them – in conversation. So what comes next? As the winter months make way for the warmer days of spring, Nimmo will be releasing a bunch of new tracks and remixes in the lead up to their album. They’ll also be performing shows in a way they haven’t done before. “The way we’re going to be doing our live shows now is that we’ll be completely curating them ourselves, and they’ll be 50 percent one big party, and 50 percent a live gig,” says Reva, adding that they’ll be performing at a load of festivals over summer too. Other than that, they’ll just be doing what they’ve always done, being creative with each other and unleashing the results into the world – this time in their own way. And unlike romances which eventually wither and die, Nimmo and their friendship are sticking around and staying tight.
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