The elicit debut EP. It’s the one release that can either catapult you into the music spectrum, or chop you up and send you right back down to earth and the pubs and clubs of thirsty Thursdays. We've had The Pixies 'Come On Pilgrem' and My Bloody Valentine's noisy post-punk masterpiece 'Geek!’ The Replacements - 'Stink', Lush - 'Mad Love', The Beta Band - 'Champion Versions' and more recently, Warpaint - 'Exquisite Corpse'. You never forget your roots, and Novella is positioned firmly in an upright position awaiting the asserted future success with their debut self-titled EP, Novella.
Novella was recorded by journeyman producer Rory Attwell, on the Lightship95. This happens to be a boat opposite the 02 Arena in the London Docklands area. We hear a different band than what we have heard in the past with the Spacemen 3-esque single 'The Things You Do' in 2011. As said by the band "After releasing our first single in August, we really wanted our next release to be a collection of songs that reflected our different influences and sounds." I’d love to roam through their music library because the influences and sounds coming out of this EP are outrageous. The dream pop harmonies are mixed with shoegaze drones, with post-punk undertones and alternative rock backing the structures up. Not to mention the exciting imagery and delicious psychedelic rhythms of the 60’s.
'Eat Yourself' opens with a summery sounding vocal hook and banging drums. The sound that was already in place is improved by this astounding structure which borders 60's pop with psychedelic and the distortion pedal. This track has a many thunderous guitar riffs which are extremely heavy with all the beautiful rhythms and left sided solos imaginable. The bass sounds great and the drumming is in the most part energetic and raw. It's expressive and it's sharp, Novella start off with a stunning track here. The most exciting part about this track is the final minute of madness with the slamming of drums, loud bass and electrifying guitar drones which sends shivers down my spine.
My major criticism of single 'He's My Morning' was the prevenient ending. At just over four minutes, the video cuts short two minutes of genius which this EP does entails. It opens with three profound chords and a great deal of distortion. The track picks up expectedly with a much lighter riff and several dynamic changes which separates the entire track into different segments whilst keeping in tune, and structural. This time around, we hear the two minute instrumental of drumming patterns and psychedelic riffs.
We've already taken a look at 'Don't Believe Ayn Rand', the treacherous and brilliant track with amazing lyricism and subject matter. Ayn Rand was a Russian-American novelist turned philosopher who fronted the 60's Objectivism movement which saw the rise of rational thinking and reason. Like many great thinkers, she disregarding religion and became a gigantic influence in the Unites States of America for her political/philosophical conceptions. This song well and captures my imagination. The refrain of "Ayn Rand, she's lost control" rings out, with lead singer Hollie Warren delivering the intelligent verses magnificently well. It’s quite a spectacular track and does justice to Novellas previous stated 'influences'.
'Strange Things' is a dashing lo-fi tune with a brilliant melody and great vocals. Clear drumming stands out with the low-key vocals, its punky and its loud. Strange Things is Novella's best effort at replicating a Slowdive/Lush sound without the need to exaggerate the effects pedal beyond distortion. The EP is finished off by 'You're Not That Cool'. Dark, ethereal guitar drones set the track alight, with a formidable bass riff with existent percussion which influences the tracks united sound. You may hear a Galaxie 500 type sound and structure, but I can assure you Novella are within their own right, a fantastic original band. The vocal work is outstanding, not just on this track, but the whole EP. Comparisons have been made with fellow girl band Warpaint; I can assure you the actual real-time comparisons are minimal.
Novella releases their debut EP on the back of several successful live shows, an energetic single and many support slots. They have the intelligence to take them a long way, skill to keep them continuously improving and evolving. They're from the south and their influences are evident in their sound. We can expect bigger and better things in the future, but as for now Novella have revealed to London and the surrounding country their phenomenal sound. Novella is a fresh face with a fresh sound in a market of electronica. I welcome the change.