Heather Nova emerged in the early 90s. Her first record was hailed as, “A stoned black olive among drab greens” by NME and her second album, “Oyster,” went on to top the charts on both sides of the Atlantic and took her on her first world tour. Her next album, “Siren,” established her firmly in the world of alternative rock, with singles charting worldwide and invitations to play major festivals in Europe, the UK and America, as well as song placement in major TV shows and film soundtracks.
She soon gathered a wide fan base due in part to her compelling live shows. In the early days she spent 8 months a year on the road and her sound was unique – one of the first rock bands to combine a cello with distorted guitars, and top it all with her ethereal sirens-call voice. There was an intensity and a uniqueness to her live shows that created a buzz and a solid following. She released 3 live albums – “Blow,” “Live from the Milky Way” and “Wonderlust.”
Her self-penned songs have always been raw and emotional, frequently injected with cool pop melodies; a combination which often had her falling through the cracks between genres. This both helped and hindered her. The London Evening Standard recently called her “one of pop’s most enduring enigmas” for good reason. She has always made her own way and has had little regard for the current trends.
“The Way it Feels” is her 9th studio album and is perhaps her best to date. It is imbued with an atmosphere that feels both natural and yet somehow otherworldly. There are echoes of Americana, a bit of dark folk – a banjo and some pedal steel here and there – but it still feels very much like a Heather album with her distinctive vocals and great songwriting at its core. She recorded it in Charleston, South Carolina in the heat of the summer in an old house that she says “she walked past several times on the first day looking for the studio because she thought it was an abandoned house”. The sounds that producers, Josh Kaler and Jay Clifford, created around her songs make for a gorgeous laid-back atmosphere injected with hooky guitars and infectious rhythms. It’s a breath of fresh air. Again it’s hard to pigeon-hole, but again this works in her favour as the album feels fresh and intimate, hooky and atmospheric all at once. It marries the hazy moodiness of her acclaimed album “Storm” with what feels like her very best songwriting to date. Whereas other albums have felt a bit “produced” this one feels like it was born this way. The production is unassuming but never dull. It carries you through the album from one engaging song to the next. There are simply no “filler” tracks on this album at all – each one is a gem.