Talking with The Novel Ideas

The Novel Ideas, a quintet from Massachusetts, first popped onto our radar in early 2012 with their debut album, Home. Since then, though the band has changed considerably. While initially only Daniel Radin and Danny Hoshino, the band has expanded to include Sarah Grella as a vocalist, James Parkington on the bass and vocals, and most recently Elena Bonomo on drums. This change has shifted the sound from the band, not to an unrecognizable place, but to somewhere more full, more complete. It’s perfectly timed with the announced of their Kickstarter, which just hit the 100% mark today. Stretch goals are being announced and we highly recommend you make some of this happen. You can check it out here.

One of the things that we’re most excited for is the prospect of a new album by a band whose sound has morphed but not changed. “The last record was just Daniel and Danny, so this one is going to be very different. We’re going in a little bit more country direction. We’ve got a pedal steel,” Sarah explained. Elena quickly clarified for me that “when I hear this, I kind of classify it as folk/Americana. There’s not that twang, so I don’t really think of this as that kind of country.” Without skipping a beat, Danny interjected, “Apparently, there’s some dissent. I’m just learning about this now. Apparently, there’s some disagreement.” It’s clear from the short conversation that I had with the band that there is a camaraderie that the road has not affected. These guys clearly like being around each other and it’s as noticeable backstage as it was on stage.

The band’s presence is startling. When you hear the older recordings and even the new ones, you get a mellow, relaxed vibe from them. But when you see the band live, there’s an energy that seeps through that’s hard to capture in a recording. As they head to the studio in October, I’m anxious to see how this translates into their newest album. Danny did calm my nerves a little when he told me, “We’re going to LA. We synced up with a producer named Rick Parker, who did the Lord Huron record.” With that kind of team, it’s hard to imagine the album not having the depth and energy that you feel when you’re there.

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As they talked about their process and the development of their sound, they mentioned Lord Huron, alongside some more familiar names like Patsy Cline and Emmylou Harris. With the addition of Sarah’s vocals, it’s not difficult to see the comparison. But when I pressed them on influences and who they consciously try to emulate, Daniel told me what really makes The Novel Ideas so unique. “If someone comes with the bones of a song into practice and starts playing it, everyone kind of does a thing, they have a very personalized role in the band at this point, to create a Novel Ideas sound. It’s one that I think is still forming and it creates a Novel Ideas sound that we didn’t have when we made home.”

It’s clear to see that these guys are excited to be on the road and getting ready to record new music. It’s a band with a phenomenal sound and one that continues to grow and evolve. Again, please check out their Kickstarter and show your support. Look forward to hearing more about the Novel Ideas and their upcoming album in the very near future.

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