Release Date: Feb 10, 2017
Record label: Fire Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
A Pink Sunset for No One is the follow-up to Fantastic Planet, the 2015 album from guitarist/filmmaker Sarah Lipstate's solo project Noveller. While the album contains all of the hallmarks of Lipstate's cinematic sound, such as gently drifting waves of droning guitars and slightly melancholy atmospheres, there seems to be more definition to her playing this time around, in some aspects. She hasn't exactly started writing pop songs, but at times there's a bit more of a propulsion to her compositions, and the melodies feel more outlined than before.
With each successive release, the self-sustaining universe that is Sarah Lipstate's output as Noveller pushes outward. Her instrumental sound--built from guitar loops run through pedals--has evolved well past its drone-anchored early incarnation. That relied on layers of distortion to create meditative spaces that enveloped the listener; more recently, synths and percussion have entered her sprawling compositions.
Sarah Lipstate is no stranger in the realms of experimental rock, reverbed guitars and icy soundscapes. Collaborator to renowned artists such as Lee Ranaldo or The Geraldine Fibber's Carla Bozulich and tour member to the Guitar Army and Glenn Branca's 100 Guitar Ensemble, her solo-project Noveller has always been a soulful one too. Describing her sound as cinematic, while also being a filmmaker, Noveller throws back to her first experiences with pedals and distorted sounds in this year's A Pink Sunset Over No One.
Another Noveller record: what's not to like? Sarah Lipstate's sound has entered our conscious this past few years. We could even view it as a trademark. We know what we get and we enjoy the subtle variations on the theme each new offering brings. It's worth pointing out now that consistently ploughing the same furrow can be a very good thing artistically; just look at Handel or Haydn, Felix the Cat or the Cocteau Twins.
Noveller – A Pink Sunset For No One In the two years since the acclaimed release of Fantastic Planet gently pushed Sarah Lipstate further out to a global audience, she has continued to service her Noveller project with a characteristic hard-grafting mix of sociability and solitary exploration. This has meant touring extensively as a somewhat unexpected support act for Iggy Pop; overseeing the welcome reissue of 2011's Glacial Glow and 2013's No Dreams LPs via Fire Records; and meticulously forging a sequel to Fantastic Planet in the shape of A Pink Sunset For No One. The album finds Lipstate moving away a little from the iridescent neon-lit shades of Fantastic Planet into darker yet warmer soundscapes.
London dream-pop outfit Novella have returned with their follow-up to 2015's 'Land'. Billed as a reflection on the stormy events of 2016 -- Brexit, Trump, a never-ending stream of bombings and shootings, and the passing of a stupid number of musical and cultural icons -- 'Change of State' chimes in with some refreshing takes on familiar shoegaze expressions. 'Does The Island Know' fades in with the record's first of many beefy bass lines, as airtight drumming knocks efficiently beneath dovetailing vocals that call to mind acts like La Luz and Sunflower Bean.
The title track for Sarah Lipstate's eighth album as Noveller stirs to life from a lattice-work of languid strumming, overlaid with glittering counterpoints. Although this cut sounds more recognizably guitar-like than others, it never sounds like one guitar. Her guitar sounds are multiplied and transformed, as always by loops and pedals so that there are three or four motifs in motion at any given time, overlapping, reinforcing, contradicting one another, but gently.