29 Sep 2022
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NOVA - EP Review: NOVA

11 Nov 2021 // A review by Cathy Elizabeth
A pleasure to review this debut self-titled EP from NOVA; the new musical project of Wellington locals Bryn van Vliet and Eliza Pickard, joined by Jeremy Richardson and Phoebe Johnson. The vibe is soothing, relaxed, and calming, and is a very nice listen indeed.

Combining their collective jazz, contemporary, indie and funk influences, NOVA have come up with a sophisticated sound that showcases the musicality of it’s members, and well-utilises each of their talents. The vocals are flawless and full of beautiful, interesting melodies that delight the ear.

Opening the EP are Patience and Lifeline, which were both released as singles earlier in 2021, delivering a smooth and sophisticated sound in a nicely balanced mix. Patience dreamily glides you into the day with a buoyant optimism, and Lifeline is the salve to soothe your troubles, like an understanding ear allowing you to feel authentically without judgement, and be totally ok.

Along saunters Moon Creature; a suave and funky upbeat groove with a smooth male vocal as a point of difference. I like the use of keys throughout, twinkling and sprinkling with creative chord inversions and staccato accents giving the track some punch.

Essence begins with a stark emotive piano intro, then accompanied by a lone voice. Strings and backing vocals join in, building the song beautifully, and finally, the band bursts the track into life. The unusual timing signature is delicious and gives the song a wonderful joy and intimacy that’s very special. The song then spirals into a gorgeous, floaty, and somewhat magical outro, as it becomes my favourite track on the EP.

Closing out the EP is Waiting with it’s jazzy melodies and mellow tones, creating an effortless soundtrack to buffer you from life’s sharp edges. Changing up the feel towards the end of the track, Waiting picks up the pace and bursts into a joyful, upbeat, almost gospel feel. This clap-along scat-inducing finale could have gone on for a good few minutes more I thought, and really dug deep, as the brass was really only just getting started. But I get that tracks need to be restrained to an acceptable length sometimes! Would love to hear it played live, where you can really milk out the extended version!

Great work team; a sterling debut and I'm looking forward to hearing more!

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )
 

About NOVA

NOVA is the brain-child of Wellington locals, Bryn van Vliet and Eliza Pickard. They have arrived fresh to the scene having just released two back to back singles Lifeline and Patience. Together these songs are part of a 5 track EP which will be later released on October 22nd, 2021.

NOVA aims to approach pop music with quirky elements, infectious grooves and palatable hooks. Their sound mixes elements of indie pop with influences such as Kimbra, Metronomy and Parcels with sophisticated songwriting from inspirations like Fleetwood Mac and The Beatles.

Bryn and Eliza utilise a 4-piece band for their songs working with fellow Wellington friends Jeremy Richardson and Phoebe Johnson. With early steps set in stone, they are paving out their path with a clear vision and excitement for the near future.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for NOVA

Releases

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