# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Novo Amor - Birthplace

  by Erick Mertz

published: 14 / 1 / 2019

Novo Amor - Birthplace
Label: All Points
Format: CD


Melancholic but carefully constructed and compelling official debut album from Novo Amor, the moniker for Welsh-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter Ali John Meredith-Lacey

Novo Amor is the recording name of Ali John Meredith-Lacey, a Welsh multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter whose new record is entitled ‘Birthplace’. Previous to this full-length album on AllPoints, Novo Amor’s discography was filled with dabbles and experiments, the highly regarded EPs ‘Woodgate, NY’ and ‘Bathing Beach’ coming out in 2014 and 2017. The project’s singles collection reaches even back further to 2012 with ‘So We Drift/Flay’, which was a self-released endeavor. To refer to this as a debut record is true, however, as it is clear that Novo Amor isn’t wet behind the ears. It’s easier to talk about ‘Birthplace’ as a whole rather than as a sum of many parts. The dimensions are familiar, ten tracks that clock in at thirty-four minutes. For all of that dabbling in the studio and writing, Meredith-Lacey has honed an extraordinary songwriting craft. The tracks on this album effervesce a tangible kind of feeling. Built around organic sounds they are really given room to breath. There is that rare moment in time aspect too that is on full display here that captures mourning and loss in amber. A lot of what I was not fond of on ‘Birthplace’ are some of the callbacks and influences that Meredith-Lacey seems to rely on. His vocals remind me of Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, who at least on the classic debut album I like, but here it’s too much. Even when gentle that harmonizer overreaches both performance and lyrical content. It’s not quirky. Actually what it does is obscure emotional meaning on a record that desperately needs to reach its audience via heartstring. I would advise this, though, if you don’t mind that type of vocal, then there is no issue. Otherwise, instrumentally, Novo Amor straddles the realms of bold and delicate. These songs are carefully constructed, while not feeling like a timid or meddling artist. Quite often throughout the record I wanted to switch over to an instrumental version, or linger in the moments that Meredith-Lacey gives us to linger on. Novo Amor translates in Portuguese to ‘new love’, which if you’re not careful, this record will be the harbinger of.

Track Listing:-
1 Emigrate
2 Birthplace
3 Utican
4 Seneca
5 Anniversary
6 13494
7 State Lines
8 Sleepless
9 Repeat Until Death
10 Oh, Round Lake

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