Music transports you. This is nothing profound, I know. But it will always amaze me how, when done right, these collections of sounds and words can move listeners. 

Stray Local’s “Shiver,” premiering exclusively on the INDY website today, shot me to a rare place of familiarity and comfort. Dancing alone in a room full of plants, my hair a mess and my eyes closed. Infused with catchy hooks, “Shiver” is honest and free, reflecting the tenor of its creators. 

Jamie Rowen and Hannah Lomas, the married songwriting-duo of the arty indie band Stray Local, write songs to inspire movement, adventure and fun, mirroring their own lifestyle. Since their debut EP Passenger released in 2018, Stray Local has performed internationally from Canada to Germany. When they aren’t creating or performing, the Raleigh-based couple can be found training for marathons or obstacle courses. 

“Shiver” depicts the internal struggle of a young woman navigating a new relationship during the pandemic. She asks her boyfriend to move in with her while quarantining, but this leap of faith carries doubts. His quietness at home is unfamiliar and unsettling. She wonders: Is he having a mental breakdown? Or is he breaking up with me? She battles with herself in this indie-pop rendition of a budding relationship during COVID-19. 

This light-hearted admission of insecurity isn’t sad; instead, it’s honest and relatable. Shiver coaxes listeners to let go, to embrace the chaos, the unmade beds and the struggles that make life interesting. 

It’s a love letter to the perfectly imperfect, a shoutout to the hot-messes of the world. Most of all, it’s a reminder to dance it out every once in a while—preferably, alone in a room full of plants. 

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