Set your watches as November is on its way and it could well be a perfect time to listen to this debut LP by Oliver Spalding. He says that Novemberism is about being as miserable all the year round as you are in November which is a terrible thought. His music though could help soothe your worry and is R&B influenced electronic melancholy with nods towards Bjork and New Order.
Vinyl LP £18.49 MONO140VNL
180g white vinyl LP + CD on Monotreme. Edition of 500 copies.
CD £11.99 MONO140CD
CD on Monotreme.
It's almost Christmas, guys. I was reminded of this because some of Oliver Spalding's 'Novemberism' reminded me of Frankie Goes To Hollywood's 'The Power of Love' and Chris de Burgh's 'A Spaceman Came Down'. That music has an ability to convey hyper-emotive moods with glossy 80s production and a healthy dash of melodrama. It's full of big minor chords, wistful verses, and glorious, sad, cinematic choruses. I like how unapologetically mournful this album is. Sometimes it's nice to listen to an album like 'Novemberism' and just feel a bit glum for a while. Can you imagine how great an Oliver Spalding Xmas tune would be, though?! I'd stream it for def. Olly, get your act together.
Modern Bon Iver is clearly a lodestar for 'Novemberism'. There are soaring falseto harmonies, the muffled parp of a saxophone, and lashings of autotune. Both Justin Vernon and Oliver Spalding's lyrics oscillate between the usual 'oh don't go plz' stuff and more obscure stuff about magic. And its Spalding's voice that is clearly the album's centre. He's got a massively dynamic range, as displayed on 'Unreal' where he rises from a fatigued tenor to exultant falsetto in a split second. Magic.
There are nods to modern R&B with the occasionaly cluck of a trap-style beat and super low-pitched vocal hooks, but the overall feel of this record is Spalding's own brand of glum, sadboi synth-pop. This album is made far more interesting by the inclusion of acoustic instruments like violin stabs and saxophone
In its best moments, 'Novemberism' devastates while remaining desolate. I'm waiting on the Xmas song.
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