Following an inauspicious three years’ worth of radio silence since their first EP, psych-poppers Novella have pitched up out of nowhere armed with this fantastic debut album to confound cynics. The Brighton-based fivesome tend to pivot around breezy, sixties-influenced jangle-pop melodies, albeit played through overdriven amps and propelled by motorik rhythms that carry the band up the autobahn away from the Summer of Love towards the likes of Stereolab and Spacemen 3.

The best moments on the record, like the languid shoegaze of ‘Sentences’ with its flanging guitar leads, also showcase Novella’s secret weapon: gorgeous, gossamer-light vocal harmonies courtesy of the band’s four-fifths female contingent.

Ironically, lyrics seem to be of secondary importance, which actually works just fine; these are hypnotic, almost raga-like songs to be lost in, not overanalysed. In fact, perhaps the best thing about ‘Land’ is how well its 10 tracks – from febrile opener ‘Follow’ through to the woozy ‘Sky is Open’ – work together as an immersive album experience. A blissed-out sonic sojourn.


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