Friday, March 15, 2013
When I Write My Noval
If the main focus of this site is a corner of the music world that is definitely on the fringes (and it is), then today's post and record lie on the fringes of that fringe. Because today, I'm bringing you another record born of someone's decision to employ the mysterious staff of the deeply obscure Noval label.
With their simplistic background arrangements (usually distinguished only by the lovely presence of one of my favorite instruments, the vibraphone), lack of named artists (probably to protect the exceptionally bad singers from embarrassment) and downright bizarre crediting system (never more than an "arranged by" note, followed by a first name), Noval stands alone in terms of the sheer depth of their weirdness.
I'd love to know when these records were made - they sound like they were produced in the late '40's, but I'm guessing that's not the case. On the first side of this disc, we have "Now You've Gone and Left Me", which sounds very much like a reject from Tin Pan Alley (the legendary song-writing location, not the label), in structure, arrangement and performance, with a vocal performance sounding very much like a read-through demo performance from our mystery man. At least it's almost peppy, at least compared with much of Noval's output.
On the flip side is a drippy love ballad, "I Love Only You", with words that wouldn't be out of place in a 7th grade love note - so simple that they make the A-side's lyric sound like Shakespeare in comparison, although I hasten to point out that both sides were written by the same person.