The Nova Hawks - Redemption | Album Review

A warm breeze blows between the strands of your flowing untamed hair; the kicked up dust from the ground cling to your cowboy boots like Friday night’s lover who’s not ready to leave; and the sweet, southern blues sounds of The Nova Hawks intertwined with the scent of bacon dances around the kitchen. Except the parents of The Nova Hawks are British black country natives, and their debut album Redemption fantasises on the characteristics of the American South, complete with blues-laden swagger and religious references.

Lead track ‘Voodoo’ dabbles in the New Orleans soaked spirituality of it’s namesake, the mysterious opportunities that the rituals offer allowing for oneself to give up self-control or take it altogether; “I’ve got the Devil in my left hand, now I’m gonna lead you with the right. I’ll do anything you want me to.” With a dash of reverb, Heather Leoni’s vocals chime with celestial charm, the bass’ continuous bobbing along acting as a soothing subconscious blanket.

The record's title track ‘Redemption’ utilises country slide guitars and a tambourine that keeps a constant beat that’s unavoidable, whilst ‘Dusty Heart’ is pulled straight out of a wild western movie as the soundtrack to the scene of a handsome hero riding off into the Latin American sunset on his steed, a deep harmony adding an ominous air.

Drips and drabs of this record are reminiscent of Dorothy or Dead Posey, the feminine aura emphasising the enchantingly supernatural essence of the track ‘Witxh.’ A rebellious anthem that echoes the millions of innocent voices from the bloodstained past; “Sold myself to the Devil, just to satisfy the edge.” Same, we’ve all been there.

Another Southern vibe presents itself in the form of an organ. ‘Technicolour’s’ lyrics seemingly at first appear to be describing just another love song, however lines like “I wish I could see the world from your view, but I’m not as tall as you. Baby blue,” hint more at a fascination for the sky that hangs above our heads, and connotes the idea of infinite freedom. Rex’s classic rock guitar solo mixed with high notes and vocal adlibing allow for the duo to use this track to stage their talents.

A slightly funkier and upbeat musicality presents itself in ‘Pills,’ counteracting the lyrics’ morbid message of “I’ve found another way to pull me under, I’ve found another way to take the blame.” The album comes to a close with ‘Love Games;’ a slower song with hints of ye olde timey gramophone sounds and a more mellow tune to end on, bringing the old school songwriting and modern production to the album’s surface that alleviates a weight off the shoulders.

Score: 7/10

Redemption is released February 12th via Frontiers Records.


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