by Rachel Feinberg
When I was first introduced to Novo Amor a few months ago I was immediately enchanted by his sound. A mix of indie rock and folk, he has major Bon Iver and Mumford & Sons vibes going on and I’m 100% here for it. Although he doesn’t have a very lengthy discography, everything he’s released so far has been pleasant and calming to listen to.
Born Ali John Meredith-Lacey, Novo Amor is an extremely talented musician from Wales. In his debut solo album Birthplace, he shows off his array of musical abilities by using a variety of instruments, but he definitely seems to favor the guitar and piano. In anticipation of the release of Birthplace, I listened to some of his past work, trying to get a feel for what to expect out of him for a full-length album. My expectations were met in every way. As soon as the first track ‘Emigrate’ began, I entered a state of pure serenity, feeling like I was laying down in a soft field with fairy lights twinkling above me.
While the lyrical content of most of his songs wasn’t exactly relatable to me, I still found myself being able to enjoy the album just as much as I’ve enjoyed albums that I could connect to on a deeper level. In the past I’ve often looked to the lyrical substance of songs and albums as a way to measure their emotional depth or level of passion, but as I listened to Birthplace, an album that is more instrumental than lyric-focused, I realized I was missing out on an entire world of great music. On most of the tracks I couldn’t even tell what Lacey was saying half the time, but there was still something that drew me in and kept me invested throughout the entire album. Birthplace seemed to have an unexplainable effect on me. I’m not someone who typically feels in tune with nature’s elements, but there was something about Novo Amor’s music that sounded very raw and organic. It completely hypnotized me, and made me feel like an entirely different person.
I highly recommend Birthplace to pretty much anyone who listens to music, regardless of their genre preferences and tastes. Between his soft-spoken voice and the range of instruments he includes in his songs, Novo Amor creates genuinely beautiful music that is hard not to enjoy.