Walking to Hoxton Hall for Novo Amor’s upcoming gig, light rain patted on my umbrella as a haze of faded pastel colours met the cloudy sky. The melancholy yet enchanting atmosphere was a perfect set-up for the night ahead.
Ali Lacey, the man behind moniker Novo Amor, was situated in front of large Victorian-style curtains, enclosing him and his band in a strongly lit, intimate setting. The band walked out in silence and gracefully began playing their first song, ‘Holland’. The atmosphere was tranquil; Lacey’s soft and breathy tones captivated the audience instantly, and the sudden powerful expansion of instrumentals woke us from our enchantment.
Novo Amor’s music and overall aesthetic captures the essence of beautiful landscapes and natural imagery. I spoke with Lacey before the show about his new song ‘Carry You’, and his new EP Bathing Beach, released on May 26th. Lacey revealed, “it’s really about a place I was 5 years ago; I got really attached to it. I think because it was new and different from home… I feel like going places like this can sometimes change your character and your whole life. ‘Carry You’ is a song about nostalgia and how some things never really leave. I felt like the EP is just an extension of that really”.
Lacey has always felt that nature and music have a deep connection, and you can see the relationship between the two in his various music videos or album artwork. Lacey admits, “I think landscapes are sort of beautiful and really inspiring, and I wanted to capture that in my videos. Pretty much all of my videos are kind of water based apart from just one or two, just because I feel there is something so soothing about it”. I asked Lacey if growing up in a small town in Western Wales contributed to the serene sound of Novo Amor. “Potentially”, he admits. “I think my music being I guess ‘folky’ and quite natural sounding in terms of instruments – it kind of blends itself with a sort of wood-y, earth-y vibe. I think maybe if I grew up in a city, I might be making different music”.
Three songs into the set Lacey acknowledged the audience for the first time with a genuine and modest greeting, introducing guitarist, Ed Tullet, with whom he works closely. Lacey started out working as a lone experimental sound designer, integrating sounds from unconventional and alternative objects into his music. Lacey revealed how working with Tullet opened him up to collaborating with other musicians. “A lot of my time was spent with Ed during our collaborative album, which we have coming out later in the year, so it ended up being a lot more of an open thing for me. For example, I got a string player into it, whereas before I never had anyone play any of my music apart from me. So I think for me it’s becoming more of a thing to get others involved, rather than sit on my own and make music… I feel different now than I did years ago when I started”.
The two captivated the audience for the next hour, serenading us with their telluric tones, and complimenting each other with perfect harmonious vocals. They took quick breaks in between songs to entertain the audience with their natural humour and casual stage presence. Whether we were laughing along with Lacey and Tullet, or silent with awe and attention, the entire room was united.
Novo Amor’s new EP: Bathing Beach is available on May 26th, 2017.