Novo Amor, Latin for new love, is a beautiful band name. It echoes emotions that are hard to grab hold of, spiritual experiences that are fleeting in the moment but impactful in life, sepia-toned memories of pure moments of bliss that can never be replicated no matter how hard you try.
Ali Meredith-Lacey, 26 year old singer, musician, composer, and songwriter out of the UK, is the force behind Novo Amor. And like the feelings his band’s name calls forth, his atmospheric brand of music creates the same gossamer threads of spirituality flowing in the soothing music and warm falsetto vocals. Music by Novo Amor is going to get in your head and your heart.
It’s been a fairly brief but quick rise for Novo Amor. Ali has only been releasing music under the moniker since 2012 (after a rough breakup) but has watched his music strike something that has made it surge in popularity. Currently, on Spotify he has over 2 million monthly listeners and his top two songs have over 25 million streams each. The debut EP Woodgate, NY garnered critical praise and pushed him onto many indie radars. Success has led to his music being featured on several television shows as well as a deal with Axe male body perfume to cover Guns n’ Roses “Welcome to the Jungle.” Garnering exposure for his music, the cover is so different from the original material that it stands on its own merits.
The only full-length released to date is Heiress (2017) which he co-created with Ed Tullet. They met when Ed crashed at Novo’s house during a UK tour. Over the course of his stay, they started making music together. The instant bond that emerged led to the single “Faux” (brilliant tune) and enough excitement to combine talents on a full-length album that is a terrific collaboration of their atmospheric rock. (check out the first three tracks “Silvery,” “Euphor” and “Calvary” for evidence).
Now, we find Novo Amor releasing their own music again and the single at hand is “Birthplace.”
Ali was kind enough to answer a few questions and give us insight into his music and his creative process. Enjoy the words and ideas of the next generation of mature rock before he explodes into the stratosphere.
What do you prefer to be called when people (fans, reporters, people that know you but don’t know you) talk to you or about you? Novo? Novo Amor? Ali? Mr. Meredith-Lacey?
Ali: Most people call me ‘Ali’, with the occasional ‘Novo’; usually by people who think my name is Novo. Either is fine with me.
Your career has taken off in such a short time since your first release. What do you think you have tapped into with your sound, your lyrics, your style, your production, your relationships, your songwriting, etc. that has garnered so many devoted listeners and continues to attract new ones?
Ali: I first released music as Novo Amor in 2012, almost 6 years ago. Before this, for a further 6 years, I was playing music in bands, producing everything from cinematic scores to dance music and also making karaoke backing-tracks. To me, the recognition for the music that I’m making now has been a very gradual incline. I think people have become attached to the integrity in a lot of the songs, the dynamic, crescendoing productions that aren’t over-polished, and just how this style of music makes you feel. It’s hard to say why people like my music; maybe it gives them something that they’re looking for.
Your songs are so ethereal and at times the lyrics can be tough to decipher; your voice becomes another instrument and I find many of your songs pushing more of a feeling or emotion and then, I, as a listener, add my own experiences and knowledge creating a bit of narrative for myself. As you mix your own material, can you tell me what you’re production philosophy is. What are you looking to do? And, what do you hope your music does for your listeners?
Ali: I prefer a lot of lyrics to be vague and under-pronounced. You talk about adding your own experiences to the songs, interpreting a meaning to suit yourself… this is important. I don’t really have a production philosophy, but I guess I will usually go by ‘if it sounds good, it is good’. Since the day I started producing music at 14, every recording has just been an experiment, a learning curve. So very often I will work on something for weeks and then throw it all away. Sometimes over-production will kill a good song and vice-versa. I’m just looking to make music that I’m happy with, something that I can be proud of and in turn, want to show people. With all my music that has gone before, I think the Novo Amor material shone through due to the personal and relatable inspiration that lead me to make the songs.
Are you back to focusing on solo stuff at the moment? Is there a new LP coming soon?
Ali: Yes. By the time this interview comes out, the answers to both these questions will be public and clear.
Air did the Virgin Suicides, Explosions in the Sky did Friday Night Lights, and others did others… will Novo Amor write the score to a movie one day? And if they could have their scruples, what would the movie be about? Who would be in it? Directed by?
Ali: I’d love to. I couldn’t say what it would be about, who would be in it or who it’d be directed by. Maybe something like Room or Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
Finally, you are releasing a new single along with a new video. In a few sentences can you tell us about the song?
Ali: I am, and by the time this interview is live, it should be out. Loosely put, ‘Birthplace’ is about being enthralled by a memory, to the point of it breathing life through your actions and your character, like a mother who obsessively lives vicariously through her child. To recognise a need for change, but not move on or take control of one’s actions is an unhealthy attitude in any situation. I feel like this is reflected in the video, where our lead character, essentially standing in as humanity, becomes surrounded by the self-inflicted and continuous damage to our world, our birthplace. I think the video is more of a talking point than the song. I hope that it will be viewed as a very important comment on humanity and the issues the images highlight.
Any US tours coming up? Especially, west coast (LA or San Diego)?
Ali: I’ve been wanting to for years and it’s finally in the works. As soon as I get my visa, we will hit the ground running.
And finally, just announced:
The first full-length album Birthplace will be out October 19, 2018!!