Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Track Review: Novella - Land Gone

When typing to Novella in 2012, vocalist / guitarist Hollie Warren said: "The new songs are a bit different, and it will be interesting to see what people think." Well it's been three years and Novella (now a quintet with Isabel Spurgeon joining on keys,) built on their established shoegaze sound (Mary's Gun / Don't Believe Ayn Rand / The Things You Do) with what can only be described as a second coming. Like a stoner telling you there's more to the class of 94' than "Love Spreads", Novella's developed sound encompasses much of 70s past, but takes more coherently from today's experimentalists.

VISION FORTUNE's Country Music is the front-runner of 2015 albums, and it's their chaotic soundscape mashed with Can's.. well.. genius, creating the backdrop to Novella's additional touches on"Land Gone".

Drummer Iain Laws' role has been second to guitars and bass over the Novella years, but here, Laws really takes control, dominating aesthetically as preceptor Klaus Dinger would. There's no motorik, but "Land Gone" is as krautrock influenced as modern shoegaze can be - second only  to "Follow" taken from their 2013 EP Murmurs (which is motorik driven.) This is clean for Novella standards, stripping away some of that distortion from a not so distant past, and still managing to create a whirlpool of instrumentation from the guitar battling between lead Sophy Hollington, and rhythm Hollie Warren - kept loud and in the driving seat by bassist Suzi Sou.

"Land Gone" introduces old Novella listeners to a highly structured and melodic representation of 60s psych, combined with kruatrock and all its accomplices. They're no longer new kids on the block, and this track really does suggest their maturity as an artist - moving forward with a little help from flanger, reverb, and phaser. Land is an anticipated album, hell, it's been highly anticipated here since 2012, and "Land Gone" is an indication that it's worth the wait. Novella's debut Land will be released May 12 on Sinderlyn via Captured Tracks.
~Eddie Gibson