Every now and again, there comes an album project that is so ethereal and heady that it commands multiple listens at different volumes, different plays in different environments, as for one to fully understand the nature and the amount of work that goes into a project such as this. Novanta’s upcoming EP release, Some Are Stars fits this scenario perfectly. Transporting and mood-altering, Novanta winds the listener down a pathway of sonic blooms and gardening marvels.
Sights, sounds, smells, colors are all up for grabs when this EP is in motion. Dream Pop, Synth Wave, Ceiling Gazing (new one for me, but love it) are all accurate descriptions of this duo’s work, but the sonic wanderings an EP like this can take you on are atypical and encomiastic.
Based in Italy, Novanta are, Manfredi Lamartina (guitar, synth) and Agostino Financo Burgio (drums), they team up with guest vocalists, other musicians and writers to produce a release worthy of mention in the “gazing” genre. There is so much controlled chaos in this music that it takes some time for your ear to compartmentalize it all. But when it does, it’s as much intoxicating as it is sobering. I read somewhere that you either have to listen to this album on 11, or barely audible in your earbuds, there’s no middle ground.
With eyebrows raised and many passes at Some Are Stars, it couldn’t be truer. This EP is either part of your day or a barely audible soundtrack to your day, a companion keeping you on your path to productivity and prosperity. One really interesting observation are these song’s abilities to 180 your mood at different times of listening to them. Sorrowful one day, could be tomorrow’s enlightenment. Yesterday’s anticipation is tomorrow’s procrastination, and so on.
Novanta’s instrumentation is synthy, analogish and even guitar-driven at times, grounding itself with live drums, embellishing itself with swashing vocal tracks, it often seems like your listening to an instrumental album. Vocals become so engrained in the mix, rather than sitting atop, it’s enough to remove the “Pop” moniker. Reverb you ask? With a capital R. Novanta uses it like the Italians use garlic. It’s thick, apparent and used like any master of their craft would; it’s an engineering artform all by itself.
Some Are Stars is due for a November 21st release date and Novanta is worth the follow. Albums that are off the beaten path like this, with something to actually say or musical ideas to convey, tonalities to explore, are few and far between.