Novella is an indie-pop/shoegaze/krautrock quintet from London. They’ve been around since about 2011. Hollie Warren (vocals/guitar), Sophy Hollington (guitar/vocals) and Suki Sou (bass) met through some mutual friends, hit it off immediately, and formed a trio together with a drum machine backing them. Later, they added drummer Iain Laws and released their debut single “The Things You Do” in 2011. The following year, they released a self-titled EP, then in 2013 an EP called Murmurs. Last year, they added Isabel Spurgeon (keys/vocals) to the lineup. All along the way, they were generating a ton of buzz in the UK, but were unknown on this side of the Atlantic.
A few months ago, the buzz started to grow here, and their debut album finally released this week. I had heard a little of the buzz, but didn’t listen to the whole album until a friend told me he was surprised that I hadn’t already written about Novella.
The band is influenced by a wide variety of bands, and they remind me of some things that don’t necessarily belong in the same sentence. On “Blue Swallow”, Sou’s psychedelic bass and Laws’ drums suggest a lot of krautrock-inspired stuff like Stereolab. Meanwhile, the phased and flanged guitars on “Phrases” bring to mind Eternal Summers. Through all of it, Warren’s vocals are somewhat reminiscent of Miki Berenyi from Lush. When she’s harmonizing with any of the other girls, it’s like Berenyi/Emma Anderson harmony. In fact, as a whole package, Novella reimind me (and lot of other people) of the shoegaze-flavoured pop sensibilities of Lush. The post-Spooky Lush, anyway. The less noisy Lush.
Here’s today’s song:
“Land Gone” by Novella
This is a really well-oiled machine, and it’s a fantastic pop song. This also has some of that driving, motorik-like rhythm section that I talked about before. And some of that tasty flanger/phaser. And those glorious vocal harmonies.
For extra credit, you can enjoy the video for “Land Gone”. I’ve already watched it about 30 times.
The album came out this week via Sinderlyn Records. You can buy a physical copy from amazon, or buy a download from your favorite legal downloading place.