Palberta’s Nina Ryser Shares “Shelf the Trophy,” a Song About “Being a Big Baby”

Ahead of the NYC trio’s 2021 LP, Ryser’s solo venture Paths of Color arrives October 22 via Cowgirl Records.

It’s a good time to be a Palberta fan. The beloved indie three-piece just announced their 2021-slated LP Palberta5000 along with its second single (the first was released back in August). But before that record drops, the band’s Nina Ryser will drop her own record as a one-piece—Paths of Color will arrive October 22 via the newly minted Cowgirl Records.

Today we’re hearing the record’s second single, “Shelf the Trophy,” which arrives with a creative video brought to you by “long-time collaborator/friend/bandmate/muse/head chef” Ani Ivry-Block, which sees Nina singing the lo-fi track into a variety of electronics after making a very graceful entrance. 

“This song is about being a big baby,” she exclaims. “The lyrics truly speak for themselves: 

“Sometimes you know when you’re wrong, and you know you won’t admit it. You hope no one will find out, so don’t you give yourself away! You think you’re a sly fox, until they call you on your shit. So, you swallow your ego, and it’s just another day. Pride, disappear today. Pride, disappear tomorrow. Just go back to where you belong. You’re just a kid and you don’t mean anything by it. I know I can’t admit my faults to you, or to anyone who wants them. I wanna roll around in the mess I made and never clean it. Let me cheer myself on, let me shelf the trophy I deserve. Oh, I never knew this was so hard! Pride, disappear today. Pride, disappear tomorrow. Just go back to where you belong. You’re just a kid and you don’t mean anything by it.

“This was a fun song for me to record,” she continues, “because usually my songs are fully fleshed out before recording from playing them live for a while first—but for this song I challenged myself to improvise most of the parts as I recorded and riff the vocal melodies on the spot, which lent itself to more free-flowing lyrics that just reflected what I was thinking about and feeling in the moment.”

Watch the clip (featuring nearly as many doors as that PTA/Radiohead visual) below, and pre-order the record here.

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