Okay, I have no clue who Novellus really is. Maybe it’s a young upstart developing a following by withholding information. Perhaps it’s an established artist I already know, operating under a different moniker. Or, an enigmatic superstar dropping new music on the sly. Wait, I know! It’s Paul McCartney, right? No? Is it Burial? Probably not.
For many I’m sure, this comes off as unnecessary hype built from deliberate omission. Yet in our social media age where we follow even the tiniest tidbits about the personal lives of musicians on Instagram, and interact with them on Twitter, and romanticize their tales behind the creation process, it’s actually a little refreshing to have some semblance of mystery. Not to mention complete anonymity.
And in Novellus’ case, the secret identity and obfuscation fits perfectly with the shadowy electronic pop tapestries the musician constructs on “Twenty Eight” from the just-released appropriately-named Untitled EP.
Like a lonely robot singing into the night, Novellus’ deep, pitch-shifted croon feels eerie yet wistful as he pines over a collapsing relationship: “Keep me on your mind if you do leave / you said you might,” he sings amid a loping pulse of keyboards and clicking snare hits buried deep in the murk. While a brief and minimal song, “Twenty Eight”’s implied isolation is evocative enough to pull me into this unknown alien world shrouded in melancholy.