pleasantly aggressive folk duo nervous but excited
music we've made.


you are here artwork

ohio to michigan
blank pages
hiding out
away, awake.
mighty shove
happiest we’ve ever been
no telling

you are here : 9.2011 / buy it

NBE's latest release is their most exploratory volume of work to date. “You Are Here” combines song writing finesse with a lush, yet edgy aesthetic. The release is just as enticing as those previous with a certain added, though understated, sense of both longing and adventure that shows this band is not willing to sit still. True to form, the songs are still infused with an earthly charm and a genuine sense of locality and experience, full of the kind of rawness and sincerity that most bands don’t dare attempt. Riding the same lines as Kate and Sarah’s vibrant personalities, “You Are Here” hosts are variety of styles throughout it, from the traditional Americana of Ohio to Michigan to the Pop-Folk of Puppeteer, OneFourThree and Blank Pages to Indie-Folk of Hiding Out finally to the Sultry Soul that is No Telling, there is something on this disc for everyone. NBE has even tossed in a humorous song,  crowd favorite Happiest We’ve Ever Been, about the stereotypes of a certain sub-culture that they happen to exist within.

“You Are Here” features instrumentation by NBE band members Susie Giang and Murray Stewart-Jones as well as guest appearances by some of the best Michigan talent including Chris Bathgate, Frontier Ruckus, Theo Katzman, Erin Zindle (The Ragbirds), Mike Lynch (Kid Rock) and Kaylan Mitchell (The Juliettes).

just the two of us (our duo doing duos) ::: Spring 2010

you've lost that lovin' feelin'
(the righteous brothers)
(indigo girls)
world spins madly on
(the weepies)
all my life
(k-ci & jojo)
(tegan and sara)
the look

just the two of us (our duo doing duos) : spring 2010
Buy one

A well-executed treat for acoustic music fans… gorgeous throughout, featuring beautiful harmonies and accomplished playing.  –Ann

we assigned ourselves the challenge of hitting the highest notes we’ve ever attempted outside of the casual laughing fit. from the low croon of the Righteous Brothers to the angsty push of Tegan and Sara, to the ever-so-tight harmonies of the Indigo Girls and The Weepies, we gathered it all deep in our voices and pushed it back out into this EP.

we ventured into this project to push our own boundaries both vocally and musically. a true duo EP, these six songs feature only us, and we ended up with a raw, yet sweet and sometimes rockin’ compilation of tracks.  you’ll get a taste of our smooth and sultry side on K-ci & Jojo’s All My Life, a ballad that took us back to our highschool days, and then you'll get a little bit of our unabashedly silly side as we yank out the electric instruments and gymnasium style stomping for Roxette’s The Look.

another goal of the project was to create a refreshing treat for our fans between studio releases. The icing on top of that cake is a 6 part YouTube video series of skits and interviews detailing why we chose each song, with a significant amount of the silliness you’ve come to expect from us crazy kooks. you can find those on the video page.

As you would expect from Nervous but Excited, the packaging for the first special edition run of Just the Two of Us are handmade, numbered and block-printed with sustainable materials. We will also debut a line of extremely limited edition art prints to commemorate the DUO release.

Anchors Cover Art

dear john
said and done
scars and anchors
solid side
the leaving
smaller taller
evolution automate
lake erie, late summer

anchors: {the green album} ::: spring 2009

"ahhhh the instruments on the new CD, Anchors by Nervous But Excited are organic and rich like good soil. The arrangements are layered in a way that makes me want to listen and hear it grow. The songs are honest and dimensional. It's music to my ears." - Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls

the first 100% carbon footprint free CD release in history. (at least that we can find). together with our record label Riot Grrrl Ink, we meticulously tracked all the energy used in the project, from the gas to get to the studio and the energy needed to power and heat it. all promotional paper items were produced using 100% post consumer materials. all energy that could not be avoided was offset through renewable energy credits. hence, we are calling it anchors: {the green album}.

musically and lyrically, anchors is many steps beyond what what we've done in the past... the songs are representative of change and growth and groundedness. we worked closely with manager/musician/producer and friend susie giang to build and record the songs first as a duo. once that core was in place, we joined up with a slew of really talented national and local musicians in to add their layers to the songs, including Girlyman, Lyndell Montgomery, Chris Bathgate, Katie Sawicki, Chris Dorman and many more. together, we colored in the lines of our songs with a sweet-tasting assortment of warming-your-feet-by-the-fire-in-the-wintertime kind of instrumentation.

it's from our hearts, and we hope you can feel it in yours too.

{home}spun Cover Art

Coffee Stained
Slow & Steady
Pockets Of Light
Being A Witness
Leaving, The
Friends As Family
Why We Do This
Smaller Taller
Sweetest Girl (Dolla Bill)

{home} spun ::: live, summer 2008

"...If Cleaver's voice is a shiny beam, Peterson's is a blue spotlight, all warmth and atmosphere, and the blend of the two has become an NBE success story... the spark of their vocal interplay - sometimes harmonizing, sometimes bouncing against each other in gleeful contrariness - lights up the CD." -Lansing State Journal

{home}spun is the essence of nervous but excited: live, alive and lively.

recorded in in rich, high quality in an old wooden house in ann arbor, michigan, with a select, intimate crowd, this 54 minute collection of songs and stories captures kate and sarah at their most comfortable. their charming and funny qualities shine throughout the dead-on harmonies, finely-crafted songwriting and diverse instrumental arrangements.

sing-a-longs, syncopated clapping and choreography, it's all there. home{spun} includes 3 previously unrecorded originals, several fan favorites, and 2 highly demanded covers, Libby Kirkpatricks Crying and Wycelf Jean’s Sweetest Girl.

this just might be a live album like you haven’t heard yet. we hope it will leave you feeling like a part of it all.

Bootleg from the Basement 2007

dirt road
smaller taller
long ride home

bootleg from the basement ::: winter 2007

this is a collection of songs we recorded in scott pryors bedroom really close to christmas in west philly. it is dedicated to the folks that continue to help us o u t  o f   o u r   b a s e m e n t and on onto the road. as a thank you, you can purchase the real thing, or name your price here.

dirt road is a favorite from several years ago.
was recorded the day after it was “finished.” we like to refer to this version as a rough draft.
smaller taller is so you can sing along with us next time we come to your town.
long ride home is a patty griffin song that we really like.

Once More... With Feeling Cover Art

slow and steady
pockets of light
unfinished song
200 years
mighty ocean
living room, early a.m.


once more... with feeling ::: spring 2006

" I feel about the whole thing - so real. This music comes from such an honest, beautiful place. Their voices sound beautiful together and the production is great - sparse and lush at the same time. I love how their voices can be soft yet retain their strength. Just beautiful. "

- Natalia Zukerman, Singer Songwriter

Once More... With Feeling is the first studio album by Nervous but Excited. Their intention while recording this album was to capture the raw connectedness that is their songwriting, while keeping the light-hearted flare that is their live performance. Recorded mostly in their Lansing, MI home, this album captures the comfort of the space.

     "Nervous But Excited sound neither nervous nor excited on Once More… With Feeling, but they had to have been excited upon finishing this album. Kate Peterson and Sarah Cleaver, with voices that hold hands in the dark, called upon a small group of friends to flesh out their modern folk sound and the result is captivating. With what at first sounds like traces of the 60s folk movement, they move through the eleven originals with ease and slowly leave the traces in the dust and leave you wanting more… with feeling.

The songs reflect a variety of tones and moods, but they overwhelm with their softer love ballads. Unfinished Song uses a beautiful finger-picked base with single lonely plucks on mandolin to set the mood as voice laments "some days I hear you say things you've never said like how it was all worth it in the end/and most days you are an unfinished song/you come line by line as my days move along", a musical deep sigh if ever there was one. The mandolin strums chords over distant accordion and banjo and upright bass on Slow and Steady while the upfront, mildly brassy voice is made softer by other, round and mellow. Sunspot is moody as well and though Blessing is of the same tone, it stands a bit above thanks to the super tremolo guitar which weaves itself throughout.

These ladies can rock as well. Wishlist is upbeat and uses what sounds like bowed bass and mild choppy violin or viola to set the pace and even throws in some Eleanor Rigby sounding strings for good measure. A bit softer but still upbeat, "Lansing" is a head nodder. A light choogling rhythm at the beginning of Mighty Ocean picks up steam and then slows and fades as does the musical dreamscape.

Peterson and Cleaver save the instrumental Living Room, Early AM to maybe make a point: they can play as well as they can sing. Indeed, their instrumental prowess is the bedrock of every song, especially their work on guitar and mandolin, but it takes center stage here and is a great way to end the album, bowed bass and acoustic guitar riding into the sunset.

A pat on the back should be accorded Nicholas Koby here. In addition to co-producing with Peterson and Cleaver, he adds real depth with his first-rate effort on the upright bass.

Bottom line is, this is one pretty fine album, but Nervous But Excited are just good enough to make you wonder what they can really do. Well, if you're ever in Michigan, ask around. With music this good on CD, odds are that they have offers for live gigs on a regular basis. They are more than likely even better on stage." - Folk and Acoustic Music Exchange, by Frank Gutch Jr.

Eight Live Songs Cover Art

eight live songs ::: fall 2005

back in the day we used to go by kate peterson & sarah cleaver. nervous but excited was simply a commonly used expression. in an attempt to get our stuff together, we recorded the eight live songs EP live, in one take, at Uncommon Ground in Chicago on September 13, 2005. It was mastered in Lansing by Gary Reid.

it's fun and imperfect and includes two covers that you can't find anywhere else - the forever popular Wagon Wheel and the traditional Moonshiner.

this album is only available digitally.

mighty ocean
coffee stained
it was nice
200 years
whats left
wagon wheel
Torch Song Evolution Cover Art


torch song evolution ::: winter 2004

the torch song evolution ep is a compilation of sarah and kate's very first collaborations, and select tracks from previous solo albums (Kate's Undone and Sarah's From Where I Stand). it was released in conjunction with the launch of their 2005 torch song evolution tour.

sarah and kate define a torch song as one that's meaning and purpose, in it's many interpretations, has continued to inspire change within the world as it evolves. songs that have sustained generations and have found a unifying voices for the folks that need them most.

this album is only available digitally.

mighty ocean
queen & holding
200 years
where i'm standin
Undone Cover Art


undone ::: kate solo ::: winter 2004

undone was recorded in lansing, MI by jason lantrip at trash180 studios and was kates first professional recording. the title track, undone, features sarah cleaver on vocals, nbe's first recorded collaboration.

Review by Heather Corcoran, CoffeeHouseTour
"If you’re looking for 100% pure extraordinary folk music, you found it! She carries her husky yet soulful voice through this heartfelt, mellow CD. Her music lunges at you with a powerful force, knocking you to the ground in awe of this artist. She’s strong, independent and finds life needs nothing else then the comfort of her friends over a cup of coffee and some good conversation. Kate uses a sprinkle of magnificent poetic measures throughout her songs, so deep in detail, you can feel the colored picture she is describing in her words. With smart lyrics against fast paced guitar, there is no other way to describe this CD then “folking fantastic!”

more to me
shiny apple
coffee stained
queen & holding
it was nice
whats left
From Where i Stand Cover Art

from where i stand ::: sarah solo :::
winter 2003

sarahs first and only solo project was recorded in lansing by Jason Lantrip at trash180 studios. from where I Stand is an intimate, moving, and thoughtfully crafted. The style incorporate acoustic folk with a few shots of rock 'n roll and country. The songs explore the various realms of relationships, the struggle to figure out purpose, and the human fight for understanding. A uniquely beautiful voice matched by powerful lyrics, Sarah delivers a refreshing sound filled with personal angst, truth, and compassion.

this album is only available digitally. and yes! she does have long hair.

where i'm standin
oil in water
thank you
More to Me Cover Art

more to me ::: kate solo ::: summer 2002

a recording of kate's very first 9 nine songs, written between spring 2001 and summer 2002, more to me is an honest look at a young songwriter alone in a room. kate recorded these nine tracks in the michigan state university audio studios where she interned, and "mastered" the songs on her home pc.

this album is only available digitally.

more to me
the lines between
half truth
easy way out
starving to please
your song
what's left