Album Review: Nova Heart – We Are Golden

We Are Golden

Released 2nd October 2015

Words: Gary Lambert

nova heartI had never heard of Nova Heart prior to volunteering to review this and upon seeing three attractive Chinese women on the album cover shot I was clueless as to what to expect. I had decided it was going to be ethereal vocals, weirdness and harmonies. I was not expecting a solo album by “China’s Queen of Rock”. Nor did I contemplate for a moment that it might sound like The XX but with the dark, dirty opium den vocals being replaced by subtle sweeps of a stoned Disco Minogue.

To be fair after the strange opening track I was still not prepared for what was to follow as the weird electronic of Drive To Our End sounded in parts brilliant and in parts an exercise in indulgence, but there was not enough of the brilliance to grab my attention. Lacklustre Number changed everything, in dead on four minutes. The indulgence had been dispersed and to replace it we had focused detail on making a beautiful sound. From a chilled out lounge pop opening, Nova Heart flicked on the switch to change the beat several times and grabbed my ears and interest.

From near trip hop, we then jumped style to We Are Golden with a cool, pop dance beat. This album does not sound like it has been recorded by someone who would technically be “World Music” but rather the latest talent from London or New York or Bristol or Detroit. It is fantastically fresh and accessible. It is obvious that this album has been written and produced and published to be entertaining to a wide variety of people, but that is nothing to be ashamed of!

Queen Is Dead is a brooding, hunk of a track. If sultry-alt-country-pop was a genre then this would be its lead track. Close your eyes as you pop in your headphones and you will be taken to the backroads of America with only loneliness and the red lights of the cars in front of you for company.

This album is a thoroughly enjoyable piece of work which is seems designed to shift units in big numbers. And also it’s great to listen to a bit of female pop which isn’t emotional warbling-g-g-ing nor Friday night Lambrini getting ready beeping. It is smart, tuneful and damn right classy. And there’s no shame for a music snob who wants to listen to “China’s Queen of Rock” either!

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