I fell in love with Novo Amor because of his mastery of the high pitched vocals over beautiful strumming progressions and builds that feel as if they were created in the same forrest where Bon Iver presumably makes his music. In full transparency, I may have even fell in love with Novo Amor because of how similar his music appears to that of Justin Vernon’s.
With the release of Birthplace, I realize that while this holds true- Novo Amor is willing to take things in a certain direction that not even Vernon’s Big Red Machine project would be willing to. This variable is easily described as letting the music speak for itself. Where Justin Vernon often pulls the instruments from the mix completely for elongated portions of the track, Novo Amor is OK with zipping his lips and letting the instrumental do the work. There is something to be said for this singer/song writer approach that does not attempt to use one’s voice as an instrument… as nearly all contemporary indie and pop singers do. There are minimal vocal chops and vocal modulations- this album is raw and could have easily pre-existed these trends.
Much like my experiences listening to the earliest tracks from First Aid Kit, I get inexplicably choked up when listening to Novo Amor. This begs the question, “Am I tapping into his emotions, is he tapping into my emotions, or is this just really damned good?” I’d like to think its a nicely divided pie chart, perfectly split between the three.