• Andy Wors

Nouvelle - ‘Melancholic Optimism’ (EP)


I wrote about Code Elektro yesterday and it’s always lovely to hear from artists / bands we featured way ‘back in the day’. I should do a feature about those very 1st artists we wrote about, although many have been in touch recently anyway with new material, and we have new albums from the likes of Siv Jakobsen due to arrive pretty soon.


One of those bands we featured in the early days was Nouvelle, a Norwegian ‘noise pop’ band of sorts, who released a quirky video and track called ‘Come Around’, which was filmed in Budapest. They’ve now returned with what they expect to be the last release, an EP entitled ‘Melancholic Optimism’.


Clearly that’s a little sad, but it’s hard for ‘part time’ bands to build the momentum and funding, and sometimes the energies are better spent elsewhere - there’s only a finite amount of hours in a day after all. ‘Melancholic Optimism’ is a nice way to finish, an atmospheric collection of tracks, the highlight of which is probably opener ‘A Place to Be’.


It’s a track which opens with a big belting guitar theme, followed by a restrained verse section where synths and bass provide the accompaniment to the vocal melody. The dynamic contrasts when guitars return for the chorus works well, and I like the snippets of instrumental sections, these guys still make a good sound. ‘Melting Eyes’ follows the same structure, whilst ‘Under the Rain’ opens like a post rock track and the highlights are again the thumping instrumental backdrop that they switch on when they need to.


Concluding and title track ‘Melancholic Optimism’ is therefore somewhat of a curiosity in comparison. Stripped back instrumentals leave piano and echoed vocals, it’s brave and an interesting way to wrap things up I guess, but probably not my favourite song. They’ve never been a band who’ve wanted to define themselves with a distinct genre, but maybe that lack of identity makes it difficult for them to quite fit in – in my view the strength of their instrumental sound showed there was always a belting post rock outfit waiting to come out somewhere.


But I’ve really enjoyed catching up with Nouvelle after all this time, sometimes it’s good to be there at both the start and conclusion of a project. I look forward to hearing what individual band members get up to next.

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