Abby Nissenbaum captivates us with her new EP ‘Unreliable Narrator’ and the single ‘Shelly Johnson’

"As an LGBTQ+ artist, I wanted the album to touch on different aspects of my life where I had ruminated on and internalized mistreatment, from homophobia to toxic romantic relationships"
24 February 2023

Nashville’s Abby Nissenbaum, an LGBT indie-rocker, just released her highly anticipated debut EP Unreliable Narrator and the highlight track Shelly Johnson.

Nissenbaum’s upbeat energy shines through this track featuring crunchy guitars, a thumping bass line and lively drums. Her voice is smooth and honest, her lyrics are relatable and heartfelt, while her melodies are catchy.

Nissenbaum’s voice is packed with emotion and she brings her 60s female rock influences to life in her songs. She’s got a great blend of classic vibes and contemporary indie and alt sounds, which results in something really unique and special.

The EP Unreliable Narrator covers topics such as depression, loneliness, heartache, addiction, It provides a mix of feelings with atmospheric and personal songwriting as well as a powerful and energetic soundscape.

Nissenbaum discussed the EP: “’Unreliable Narrator’ is an exploration of how external situations and inner states or feelings interact to form our internal narratives. I began writing this album in 2019 while leaving my Social Psychology PhD program, and started reflecting on the ways that external negative situations and others’ hurtful messages had been heavily souring my own self-talk and self-perception. I had read a research paper where depression and anxiety were characterized as ‘unreliable narration’ of one’s own life, and thought it perfectly encapsulated what I was feeling at the time. Especially as an LGBTQ+ artist, I wanted the album to touch on different aspects of my life where I had ruminated on and internalized mistreatment, from homophobia to toxic romantic relationships. Instrumentally and genre-wise, the EP purposely sounds somewhat disjointed, with the one common denominator being my voice. I hope that listeners, especially other queer folks, can find solace in these songs and the fact that not every bad thing we believe about ourselves is the truth.”

Three singles from the album were released in 2022, including the impressive and macabre slow-tempo gem Funeral Processional, with the trombone of the most subscribed brass artist on YouTube and the music director of Stranger Things, Christopher Bill.

Unreliable Narrator was made by hopping between LA and Nashville, with production credits shared between Riley Geare and Matt Qualls (both known for their impressive past works). It was recorded at the Sound Emporium Studios – a great studio.

Nissenbaum was a professional musician and specialized in classical singing and musical theatre before getting her degree in social psychology and data analytics at the University of Memphis. During that time, she rediscovered her passion for music.

Photo by Kara Nikol