November 15 2019
3. Her Crescent
6. A Stop
10. Bow Creek
ABOUT THE RELEASE
“Novemberism” is the debut album of 23-year-old UK artist Oliver Spalding. As with his debut EP “Unfurl” (2017), the album was written and recorded with producer Ed Tullett (Novo Amor).
Built around Spalding’s staggeringly beautiful voice, the record is full of melodic, immediate songwriting and arresting electronic production.
Asked about his choice of title, Spalding explains, “To be melancholy all year round is to suffer from Novemberism.” And indeed, these 11 tracks are woven together with a common thread of heavyheartedness. Even the more upbeat songs, like title track “Novemberism” and “Bow Creek”, which drive and glisten with intoxicating pop hooks and 80s era synths, recall the darker undercurrents of classic New Order.
Says Spalding, “The album focuses on a certain period of time in my life and the things that happened around me. My honesty in songwriting is key. The aim of this album was to be raw and emotional. Emotions are scary and no one wants to face them, and that’s what I wanted the album to feel like – something that is uncomfortable but also beautifully revealing.”
Synthesizers feature heavily across the record, including single “Bow Creek”, where iridescent synth stabs and lush strings wash over a hazy, late-night London. “I’m a huge Roxy Music fan”, says Spalding, “I love Brian Ferry’s work and take inspiration from the Prophet synth sounds on the 80s Bruce Springsteen records.”
Opener “Athamé” explodes the record into life with a barrage of
saxophone and cymbals, before settling down to “Xanax”’s addictive delayed guitar lines and Spalding’s world-weary vocals. The slow, dark R&B simmer of “Her Crescent” reflects in the dark, ethereal pool of Björk-influenced soundscape “Emissive”, and the quietude of the delicate, piano-
led heartbreaker “Golden” gives room to breathe after the gloomy electronic cacophony of “AIBM”. Elsewhere in the album, “Unreal” sees Spalding’s gossamer, spine-tingling falsetto soar to the heavens, and epic power ballad “Everglades” lifts Spalding’s voice to its towering, affecting peak, bringing the album to a close with a shudder of thundering drums.