05 Jul, 2015
Album Review: Nova Heart – Nova Heart
Describing Nova Heart’s self titled, self-released album as irresistibly uncomfortable is a seemingly odd juxtaposition; however, the entirety of the collection adamantly exhibits this bizarre characteristic. In reading the name of the first song, having listened to it first, I have to laugh. “A Drive to Our End” could not be a more suitable title for the 4:26 minute instrumental track, which traverses the meager space between strange and distressing.
Helen Feng, vocalist and front woman of the atypical Beijing four piece, initially appears on track 2, complementing minimalist bass and drum lines supported periodically by delicate guitar melodies and “voodoo-disco” production. Midway through the song, prior to the entrance of the guitar melody for the second time, Helen mumbles in what I presume is Mandarin. Speaking in tongues, Helen adds an intricate layer of authenticity to Nova Heart’s profoundly dynamic album.
The majority of her songs use the pronoun “she” instead of “I”, providing an interesting disconnect between performers and lyrical content. Only in song 09 does Helen refer to herself, as she asserts, “I’m never going to back down now,” arguably the most banal / pop inspired lyrics on the album. The following song reverts to her previous employment of pronoun she; this music breeds unpredictability.
Beware to the angsty; this album will undoubtedly accentuate your apprehension. For a euphoric nervous breakdown turn your jammypack immediately to song six. Otherwise, enjoy the compilation; transcend certitude, oscillate between classic 80’s inspired pop beats and utter dissonance, and lose your marbles to heavy looping trance progressions and climaxes that will make you sweat. Happy listening!
by Haley Midzor