Noveller is an ambient/noise/dream pop recording project of Brooklyn-based composer/filmmaker/guitar wizard Sarah Lipstate. Since 2009, she’s been an extraordinarily busy woman. She’s released something like eight solo albums, including FIVE between 2009-2010. She’s also made a couple of short films, contributed to some film scores and done a lot of collaboration with various musicians. She was, at one time, a member of Glenn Branca’s “100 Guitars” ensemble.
Two of her albums have been collaborations, but when she makes a solo record, it’s really a SOLO record. She’s the only musician involved. In fact, on every album except the new one, the only thing she used was guitar. Lots of loops and layers and whatnot, but nothing other than guitar. And she often plays with a bow, Sigur Rós style. On the new album, she uses some other things like synths, but I think it’s still a completely solo effort.
I had never heard of Noveller or even of Sarah Lipstate until I was listening to a podcast of Radiolab the other day. She’s a regular performer when they do live broadcasts of the show, collaborating with ambient jazz band On Fillmore (featuring Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche). I was sort of blown away by the post-rock(ish) musical interludes during the podcast, and did the research when I got home. Amazing. The specific episode centers around the “dinopocalypse”, and specifically the theory that the dinosaurs all perished from a single asteroid strike. It was a single event, and took only a few hours to wipe out the earth’s dinosaur population. It’s a bit long-ish at nearly two hours, and it’s a bit overly science-y at times, but I’m tellin ya, it’s good. If you have a lot of windshield time or a lot of train time, put that one on. And pay special attention to the music interludes.
Anyway, while I very highly recommend it, this isn’t about the Radiolab podcast. It’s about Noveller.
This is the title track from the new album:
“No Dreams” by Noveller
Once again, this is one of those albums where you’ve really got to listen to the whole album. This is, though, a pretty great song standing on its own.
Reminiscent of something like lovesliescrushing, this lifts the listener impossibly high in the ether and off into some dream-like world. Actually, if you recall, it was sort of the same setup with lovesliescrushing. Scott Cortez is really adamant about making sure that apart from the vocals, all of the sounds in lovesliescrushing are guitar-based. Lots of loops and lots of unusual ways of playing and lots of other unorthodox things, but lovesliescrushing is all guitar. And until very recently, so was Noveller.
This whole thing is just so soothing and so pleasantly bizarre. I could listen to it all night long. So should you.
You can buy No Dreams from the bandcamp shop, where you should also check out all of Lipstate’s other stuff.