|Novella||Change of State|
Novella — Change of State (February 17, 2017)
⦿►•¬ “Over the course of ten tracks, Novella take the time and space necessary to let the physical and ideological implications behind a changing state run rampant through themes that linger as much in topical discussion as they do in perennial reflections of human experience.”
⦿►•¬ “Time to leave but we won’t breathe/ ‘Cause we lost the war and don’t know anymore/ You don’t know how you might go/ Into the world.”
⦿►•¬ Change of State was recorded on a ‘60s 8~track, and this clearly contributed to its refreshingly clean, simplistic and almost Doors~esque sound. Because it’s not overwrought with studio afterthoughts and tweaks, this record feels honest, thoughtful and relevant.Location: London, UK
Album release: February 17, 2017
Record Label: Captured Tracks / Sinderlyn
01. Does The Island Know 3:57
02. Change of State 3:49
03. Desert 3:41
04. Elements 3:59
05. A Thousand Feet 4:42
06. Thun 5:09
07. Come In 2:06
08. Four Colours 3:55
09. Side By Side 4:33
10. Seize The Sun 4:12
1. The Island Knows
2. Change of State
5. A Thousand Feet
2. Come In
3. Four Colours
4. Side By Side
5. Seize the Sun
℗ 2017 Novella
Vocalists: Hollie Warren and Sophy Hollington
Review by Tim Sendra, Score: ****
–•¬ Following up a successful debut album is a tricky proposition filled with many possible pitfalls. One way for artists to avoid falling on their faces is to stick with what made their debut albums good, then give things a slight tweak. Novella do a fine job of following this blueprint for success on their second album, Change of State. Their first album, Land, was a hazy psych~pop album with tangled guitars, pulsing rhythms, and some seriously catchy songs, all recorded in a real studio with a big sound to match. The sessions for Change of State took place in producer James Hoare’s home studio on his old eight~track tape machine. The surroundings and process led to a much more intimate and precise album, with the drums dialed back and the overall mix having a less expansive feel.
–•¬ The more compressed sound allows Hollie Warren’s vocals to move to the fore, and she makes the most of it. Her expressive and resonant singing was one of the highlights of the first album and she’s even more impressive here, giving the songs a deep emotional impact. The guitar work of Warren and Sophy Hollington (whose impressive artwork graces the album cover) is more tightly locked together, bassist Suki Sou and drummer Iain Laws work together like a well~oiled machine, and the occasional synths add just the right amount of texture. It’s a compact brand of psychedelia, made for late nights and quiet moments with songs that foster introspective reveries and the occasional burst of melancholy. The album rarely goes above a whisper; tracks like “Desert” and “Four Colours” are gently peaceful and pretty, those with motorik underpinnings (“Thun” and “Come In”) percolate calmly, and a couple songs (“Elements,” “A Thousand Feet”) attain the same kind of dream~state psych that Opal or the Rain Parade did at their peak. Only a couple songs (“Does the Island Know,” the jangling “Side by Side”) have any kind of insistent energy, and they help keep the album from floating away on a cloud of pillow~soft sound.
–•¬ Choosing Hoare and his home studio proves to be a pretty brilliant idea and the band sounds great throughout Change of State. The songs, sound, and performances all combine into something that doesn’t exactly improve on what they did on Land, but the album is just as compelling.
by Tom Johnson
–•¬ “Over the course of ten tracks, Novella take the time and space necessary to let the physical and ideological implications behind a changing state run rampant through themes that linger as much in topical discussion as they do in perennial reflections of human experience.”
–•¬ While the desire for artists to stay away from political discourse is both fair and understandable, the past year will no doubt spawn its fair share of reactionary takes on a society that seems to be quickly falling apart at the seams. One such band is Novella, who launch their new album campaign with the above sentiments, and the sharing of said album’s title~track “Change Of State” ~ an often thrilling bout of guitar~pop that delivers a captivating sense of eeriness at almost every corner within it’s near four~minute ride.
–•¬ Recorded on an old 1960’s 8~track, the new record is set for relase in mid~February, via Sinderlyn, and the London quartet’s introductory song certainly whets the proverbial appetite; that aforementioned sense of eeriness met with energetic guitar breakdowns that are as gripping as they are briliantly endearing. –•¬ http://www.goldflakepaint.co.uk/
Julie Parker, February 13, 2017, 6:30 am
–•¬ On UK quartet Novella’s sophomore album Change of State, the plasticity behind the meaning of the title was no fortuitous afterthought. Rather, it is very idea on which the album was built. Following the band’s debut album, Land, released in 2015, the band has toured, traveling from one country to the next, and they have watched their home country of Britain change dramatically in social and political terms. Over the course of ten tracks, Novella take the time and space necessary to let the physical and ideological implications behind a changing state run rampant through themes that linger as much in topical discussion as they do in perennial reflections of human experience.
–•¬ Recorded over the period of a few months in the Victorian bedroom studio of James Hoare (Ultimate Painting, Veronica Falls) on an old 1960’s 8~track, this set up forced Novella to utilize an economy of sound on Change of State. They discovered that there’s beauty in simplicity and restriction as nothing could be gratuitously added or subtracted with the click of a mouse. It lent, what the band call a little Joe Meek magic to the process, and what could have been an added pressure instead gave way to instinct: “The best songs we wrote were written towards the end of the sessions, when we had too little time to think too much about them”
–•¬ Reflective, the songs wash over you as they delve into topics weightier than they seem upon first blush: stand out track “Change of State” references freedom of thought and those who seek to restrict it. Brooding with tinges of psychedelia, “Thun” touches on birth and the freedom of movement, which is mirrored in its almost motorik thrust. With deftly deployed subtlety, the album revolves around themes of conspiracy theories, elections, sound mirrors and the disillusioned texts of Murakami, JG Ballard and Kurt Vonnegut. The album’s cover, a linocut made by singer and lead guitarist Sophy Hollington, was inspired by Paul Nash’s war paintings.
–•¬ However, in what may in fact be the ultimate comment on our time, it is entirely possible to enjoy all the ethereal swathes of textures, gentle melodies and energetic bursts that Change of State has to offer without ruminating on any of the elements that inspired it. Change of State may be product of its time, but the music is, more than anything, timeless.
|Novella||Change of State|