Nausea (Jeff Rosenstock song)

"Nausea" is a song recorded by the American rock musician Jeff Rosenstock for his debut studio album, We Cool? (2015). It was released as the lead single from We Cool? on January 29, 2015 through SideOneDummy Records and Quote Unquote Records.

Single by Jeff Rosenstock
from the album We Cool?
ReleasedJanuary 29, 2015 (2015-01-29)
Songwriter(s)Jeff Rosenstock
Producer(s)Jack Shirley
Jeff Rosenstock singles chronology
"Hey Allison!"
Music video
"Nausea" on YouTube


"Nausea" pre-dates its parent album, We Cool? by several years. Its genesis was spurred when Rosenstock's wife purchased him a Wurlitzer piano. He came up with the opening piano riff one day before a job interview, and was so inspired that it was all he could think of during the interview. At the time, Rosenstock was making ends meet as a truck driver in New York, and found time to compose the song when he could. He remembered the song's chorus, for example, came to him one day as he waited at a train station. Rosenstock first debuted "Nausea" in demo form on his 2013 seven-inch Summer +.[1][2] We Cool? was recorded in five days, with "Nausea" tracked live, and piano overdubs added later.[3]

The song's lyrics detail a memory from a solo concert tour Rosenstock undertook. On a day off in Minneapolis, he decided to buy wine, rent a hotel room with a hot tub, and have a party to himself. The next day, he awoke to a voicemail from a friend informing him that one of their mutual friends, Mitchell Dubey, was killed in an apartment break-in.[4] In the song, Rosenstock croons, "I got so tired of discussing my future / I’ve started avoiding the people I love."[5] In an interview with Chris DeMakes, Rosenstock revealed the song details his regret in not spending more time with Dubey. He described the song's theme as "having taken time with somebody for granted because your judgment is too clouded by self-doubt to open up and talk to somebody."[3] The song's bridge was meant to evoke producer Phil Spector and mid-twentieth century rock.

The music video debuted January 29, 2015.[6] Rosenstock is depicted as getting stabbed to death at one of his concerts.[5]

Release and receptionEdit

Rosenstock performed the song on NBC's Last Call with Carson Daly in 2016.[7]

Timothy Monger at AllMusic wrote that "'Nausea' sports a nearly wistful, B-level Ben Folds-ian piano melody over which Rosenstock's overblown, hoarse voice bellows tales of disillusionment while heavy ska horns play from the wings."[8]


Credits adapted from the liner notes for We Cool?.[9]

  • John DeDomenici – bass, drums
  • Kevin Higuchi – drums, tambourine
  • Mike Huguenor – guitar, vocals
  • Jeff Rosenstock – vocals, guitar, keyboards, songwriting, recording, layout
  • Bob Vielma – trombone
  • Laura Stevenson – vocals
  • Scott Dektar – group vocals
  • Jack Shirley – production, recording, mixing, mastering engineer


  1. ^ "Nausea (Acoustic Demo". Jeff Rosenstock. July 4, 2013. Retrieved June 24, 2022.
  2. ^ Anthony, David (January 29, 2015). "Hear the first song from Jeff Rosenstock's new album, We Cool?". The A.V. Club. Retrieved June 24, 2022.
  3. ^ a b DeMakes, Chris (24 June 2022). "Ep. 23: Jeff Rosenstock discusses his song "Nausea"". Apple Podcasts (Podcast). Chris DeMakes & Sound Talent Media. Retrieved 24 June 2022.
  4. ^ MacMillan, Thomas; Bass, Paul (March 25, 2011). "Bike Enthusiast, Musician Shot Dead". New Haven Independent. Retrieved June 24, 2022.
  5. ^ a b "Jeff Rosenstock Makes Punk Rock for Anxious Jews". Tablet Magazine. August 16, 2017. Retrieved June 24, 2022.
  6. ^ Gentile, John (January 29, 2015). "Videos: Jeff Rosenstock: "Nausea"". Retrieved June 24, 2022.
  7. ^ "Watch Last Call with Carson Daly Highlight: Jeff Rosenstock: "Nausea"". NBC. February 6, 2016. Retrieved June 24, 2022.
  8. ^ Monger, Timothy (March 3, 2015). "Jeff Rosenstock - We Cool? Album Reviews, Songs & More". AllMusic. Retrieved June 24, 2022.
  9. ^ We Cool? (liner notes). Jeff Rosenstock. US: SideOneDummy. 2015. SD1556-1.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)