[Ellis O’Connell | Contributing Writer]
As I sit in the window seat of a train destined for Bristol, I hit play on Novo Amor’s new single ‘Anchor’. Immediately, I’m transported to another world; four minutes and sixteen seconds of pure, indie-folk bliss. Naturally tilting my head to lean up against the window, I’m in that cliché mood of pretending I’ve reached the sad part of a romantic film. Dramatically watching the world go by and languishing over losing a relationship with my love interest. ‘Anchor’ is the soundtrack to a montage comprising of shots from earlier in the film of ‘us’ with me, on the other side of the train window, looking on the verge of tears and mournful.
A photo posted by Novo Amor (@novo.amor) on Aug 21, 2015 at 4:45am PDT
I can hear you ask, “who is this person you speak of?” Born as Ali Lacey, Novo Amor (stylised ‘NOVO AMOR’) is a British multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer who is following up his critically-acclaimed debut EP Woodgate NY. With masses of support from publications such as NME, Q and Digital Spy; and radio shows such as Dermot O’Leary’s Radio 2 broadcast, the Cardiff based musician’s music is reminiscent of works by Bon Iver, London Grammar and Daughter. Literally translated from Portuguese as ‘new love’, Novo Amor has been going from strength to strength. The tail end of 2015 sees him finalising a collaboration album and the release of ‘Anchor’.
‘Anchor’ is ridiculously marvellous. Its simplicity is the attribute that makes it feel like such a big ‘moment’ for Amor. It’s the defining characteristic that leaves a lasting impression on the listener for – quite literally – days after. The song’s base is a straightforward guitar riff, to which Amor’s breathy and echoic vocals – similar to that of Imogen Heaps’ – accompany. “Took the breath from my open mouth / Never known how it broke me down” explains a confused Amor in the opening line, elaborating that he “went in circles somewhere else.” The poetic lyrics and the production work harmoniously, evoking feelings you didn’t even know you possessed; feelings that even Adele couldn’t figure out for you.
Unsurprisingly, ‘Anchor’ keeps up with a nautical theme. Neatly, Amor tells us that he can “hear your ship is coming in” in the chorus; describes how “both our eyes lock to the tide” in the second verse; and requesting his love interest to “anchor up to me, love” in the middle 8. ‘Anchor’ talks about how Amor has a love that is wayward, but wants to hone it in, effectively anchoring it to him.
A photo posted by Novo Amor (@novo.amor) on Jul 11, 2015 at 3:26am PDT
This song is an emotional rollercoaster, and that’s quite a literal metaphor. ‘Anchor’ features only a guitar for the verses, with extra synthesised-but-not-too-intrusive sounds for the chorus. This however, is only a build up. You know those rollercoasters that pull you up really high but really slowly? The ones that then have a short ride to the bottom, but it’s worth it? That’s what ‘Anchor’ feels like. As the song passes the 3:30 mark, Amor’s vocals get louder as extra drums come in for a euphoric ending.
‘Anchor’ is a beautifully melancholic track. It’s the epitome of the word ‘autumnal’ and is a perfect release for the colder months. With “Your tears a sea for me to swim,” Amor tells us of his love interest. To be honest, it was hard not to shed a tear at the incredibleness of this song.
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