[sic] Magazine

Noveller – Arrow

They say to most effectively break the rules, you have to first know the rules. Sarah Lipstate spent her formative years enduring the strictures of piano scales, but has since used the technical know-how to springboard into the wildest excesses of creative expression. Arrow is her latest record as Noveller after a couple on Fire Records during the last five years, each growing in scale and vision; another step forward and, going deep into laptop hymnal, it’s arguably her grandest yet.

A go-to soundscaper to the stars these days, her droning loops and pedal skills are much in demand and they’re put to immediate use to conjure ghostly choral parts, melancholy synth drift and percussive tension. Caught between celestial zen and the creeping unease of sci-fi soundtracking, cinematic lead track “Effektology” dwells in dreamy ambience and experimental tones instead, bowed strings leading to dawning wonder. Treading the line between optimism and disquieting paranoia, this same emotional atmosphere bleeds into what follows too, questing MIDI-strings and a bubble of otherworldly electronics add drama as a counterpoint to misty pipes and creaking hinges, a soundtrack to opening your cottage-garden gate and stepping into the chilly Andean forest.

A master of real worlds as well as exotic, second single of sorts “Canyons” takes its name from Lipstate’s new home of Moon Canyon, Los Angeles, her custom multi-effect pedal parping like a wheezy accordion around the landscape. Spa-day relaxation later offers soothing pulses, woodwind and twinkling electronics that grow into waves over a pebble beach, Holodeck ASMR filled out with cosmic radiation as our dying hero is carried aloft over a sea of dumbstruck admirers.

Heavy-hearted self-reflection turns to thoughts of sword-sharpening revenge and Gothic melodies are coaxed out of the lungs of some dusty organ during the beguiling closing exchanges, Lipstate pitching for scorework far and wide. She’d be up the challenge too, delivering an understated fireworks display to light the way of her inevitable career trajectory.

~Arrow is released June 12th 2020 via Ba Da Bing Records.~

Adult Swim Singles · Noveller – "Effektology"