The Community Room in Brudenell truly lived up to it’s name last Friday night as the crowd sought shelter from the cold Leeds night in the warm-hearted musical blanket of Anna Leone and Novo Amor.
Far from her home in Stockholm, Swedish Anna Leone took the stage with only a guitar for company. Fusing old Americana folk with a trembling voice of pure chocolate, Leone engrossed us all in lullabies of a life not our own. The sorrow of ‘My Soul I’ particularly made me want to take the love struck burdens off her coated shoulders.
Novo Amor is symbiotic with the world around him. His musical soul tackles environmental activism in his videos, similarly fake leaves entangled everything on stage, making it feel like the music was being translated through nature to us, the entranced audience. Known for his faultless falsetto and unworldly harmonies, Novo (also known as Ali and his band) celebrated the release of their latest album with a relentless mix of the new and beloved songs.
Well-versed in the Novo Amor discography I thought I was ready for a relaxing evening that would leave me more tired than energised. Yet from the commencement, ‘Utican’ proved I was beyond naïve. Each song took a different manifestation live; drum beats hit heavier, texture spilled in from every which way, and the whale song of the violin really did cut your heart open.
Previous collaborator Ed Tullett stood side-by-side with Novo throughout the whole gig, humbly offering the harmonic marriage to Novo’s china-bone melodies. Returning for an encore they stood alone, dueting ‘Alps’ as if it was the most natural thing in the world.
Live, Novo Amor proved he is far more than his beautiful recordings. Novo melts away everything that he deems unnecessary and puts what is left into a technically perfect performance- inevitably plunging you into the wild depths of emotion.
Header Credit: Alexander Harris