Novella EP (Italian Beach Babes)
“The Things You Do”, “Land Gone”, “Sentences” (Synderlyn)
A novella is a literary form characterized more by what it isn’t than what it is; longer and more complex than a short story, but shorter and perhaps less complex than a novel (and great for book reports! – if memory serves). Famous examples include: The Little Prince, Metamorphosis, The Bridge of San Luis Rey, Animal Farm and A Clockwork Orange.
Novella is also a London-based five piece, with a penchant for both hazy, psychedelic and more dreamy, shoegaze inspired atmospherics What does the band have in common with the written work? Probably not much but, according to Wikipedia, the word ‘novella’ is the feminine form of the Italian word ‘novello’, meaning ‘new’ and I recently heard the band for the first time – compelling connection, no? In this interview (on the always great The Line of Best Fit), the band picked the name at random because it sounded both feminine and like a medication, so we’re all grasping here… on to the review, then.
The tracks on their debut, self-titled EP come enveloped in a Velvet-y cloak of droney reverb and distortion, shot through with sudden bursts of energy – particularly on songs like “He’s My Morning” – and overlaid with detached, laconic vocals of singer Hollie Warren. On newer tracks, from their forthcoming debut full length, “Land” – out May 12 on Synderlyn Records – the production feels lighter, while retaining the psychedelic vibe. Stand out tracks like “Land Gone” open brightly – the swirling rush of guitars (phasers and flangers!) and delicate harmonies invoking Lush and Döppelganger-era Curve, as well as newer bands like Toy, the last 30 seconds featuring a muscular, crash cymbal heavy rock out. “Sentences”, another highlight, unfurls, at around the 1:30 mark, into a blissfully gorgeous kaleidoscopic soundscape.