Known for his iridescent songs and ethereal vocals, Welsh singer-songwriter Novo Amor has just released his fifth song of the year!
The fifth instalment comes ahead of his anticipated album Cannot Be, Whatsoever – out November 6th.
In June this year, the talented artist (also known as Ali Lacey) put out two beautiful new songs for us – ‘Decimal’ and ‘Halloween’.
Little did we know that just months later, we would be getting a few more songs, and soon, an album in November!
I guess Christmas came early this year.
There is clearly something magical about Lacey’s songs that make you iridescently happy, yet not overly so you still remain rooted to the ground as you listen to every texture, sound, and colour that exudes from the earths of his music. It feels real – both happy and sad, and eventually this becomes part of your journey.
For instance, while ‘Decimal’ feels like a walk at the beach, feeling the sand and waves on your toes, and that freedom you get when you ride your bicycle and let your hands off the handlebars.
‘Opaline’ pulls at another part of the coruscating beauty of his songs. You could lie in the field just putting this track on repeat – as it dresses your heart in its sunshine. It’s one of those songs that you could weep nonsensically about yet feel extremely happy about it…
Even the ballad-like sunrise-glistening track ‘If We’re Being Honest’ pulls at the heartstrings like a handwritten note or box of postcards of a distant memory.
Indeed, Lacey’s fresh new sounds are a breath of life, tinged with textures of nostalgia – which we can also see in the instrumental and lyrical colours of ‘Halloween’.
And finally to make everyone feel better – we get a song with this exact reminder in its name. ‘I Feel Better’ with its Coldplay-like piano intro, is the much needed song with its opalescence vocals and great instrumental layers, particularly the riffs from the guitar. While at its core, the melody feels bright, the shadows of the poignant lyrics pull at the heartstrings, and all you want to do is hug the singer, and cry along with him. The juxtaposition is absolutely beautiful, and relatable as well. “I’ve said I’ll be alright for the last damn time”. Blimey – that line gets to me…
Says Lacey of his latest single,
“I felt an incredible rush of joy and direction when I initially wrote the piano and chorus melody. At the time it felt like this song would define the album, which hadn’t been written yet. I thought it would set the tone for a more positive and joyous step forward, but months down the line the record grew this backbone of indecision, jumping from feelings of self-affirmation to self-pity, from joy and celebration to feelings of boredom and anxiety. It’s not something I really wanted, but those feelings naturally manifested themselves within what I was creating. I think that spectrum of emotion appropriately mirrors how it feels to make an album, at least for me anyway. It’s a mess and can cause a lot of grief. It gives you life, then drags it back out of you. It gives you happiness, the best days, the worst days, and makes you question your purpose and abilities. These words feel unnecessarily dramatic when describing nine months of just making music, but hey, that’s how it feels.
By the end of the album recording, the song felt like an outlier, another one of these ideas that didn’t really need to be heard. I’d worked on it too much. It felt like I was making it worse with every day of recording. It felt like the album had shifted too far away from this uplifting piano line that I’d gotten excited about months before. So, I was ready to throw it away until my friend and collaborator Ed Tullett stopped me. He gave me encouragement to at least see it though and try to make something we could be happy with. I think he (thankfully) saw more importance in this song being on the album than I did. Like most of the other tracks on the record, we worked on it together and it’s a much better record because of it. The song, while still feeling like a bit of an outlier, actually came to represent so much of what this record is for me, this range of emotion and indecision, the building up and tearing down of ideas, this clash of happiness and sadness and affirmation from others. As the song sings – “just tell me that it’s alright and I’ll be fine”.
With just a couple of weeks left until November, I reckon that we are all definitely looking forward to his new album.
I only discovered Novo Amor a year ago. I am glad I did. For me, and considering the year that we’ve all had – my discovery of his music could not have come at a better time. His songs have brought me on a journey…and most of those nuances of memories will stay with me for a lifetime…
We all feel better when we listen to his songs…
The 10-track album Cannot Be, Whatsoever will be out November 6. Pre-order/pre-save it here.
I Feel Better
Statue of a Woman
If We’re Being Honest
Cover photo: Daniel Harris
Embroidery: Aline Brant