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KOOL artist biographies

Something happens to Heather Nova as soon as she starts to sing. In the flesh the beautiful, Bermuda born songwriter is softly spoken and painfully modest. On record however, armed with an angelic voice which soars from a glass shattering soprano to an earthy alto, she sounds supremely confident. Having spent two years on tour since the release of her 700,000 selling last album, "Oyster", Nova has good reason to feel at ease with her music. 300 gigs - following the release of "Oyster", mostly with a full on rocking band, and some acoustic performances with only a cello player as accompaniment - have strengthened her haunting, poetic style and encouraged her to experiment more with her unique and powerful vocals.

"When I finished touring," says Heather, "I went home to Bermuda and rented this cottage that was right on the sea and as it was winter time there were lots of storms. The front of the cottage was literally in the water and the waves would lash the walls. It was fantastic. I cut myself off from the phone, T.V, everything. After being on the road for so long, I 'd got really strung out and removed from myself. I needed to be alone to gather up all the ideas I had and to write some new songs. I didn't want to just rush in and record a new record to meet any deadlines, when the time came I just took my time and really enjoyed being in the studio."
"Siren", released in May '98, is a mix of stripped down, story telling songs, string drenched, mid tempo guitar driven tracks and atmospheric ballads. Written last year on a return trip to Bermuda, it's 14 tracks were recorded at various studios in London at Real World in Bath with longtime collaborators Felix Tod and Youth, as well as new Nova producer, John Kelly.

The result is a deeply personal record full of observations on love and relationships as well as Nova's trademark emotive lyrics and earthy imagery. "This record is more raw than "Oyster ". After living on the road for so long, I wanted the production to be less of a process and more an art of capturing the moment, with a lot more spontaneity and room for improvisation" , says Heather." "Oyster" was an aftermath record it was about picking up the pieces, healing old wounds; I buried my past in that record, and Siren is about moving on: the schizophrenic life of being on the road and the highs and lows of love."

The album was recorded with what Nova refers to as her dream team of players, which included Paul Sandrone from Raissa on bass, Nicolaj Juel from Addict on guitar , Nadia Landman from Nova's live band on cello, and Geoff Dougmore from Killing Joke on drums. Clearly influenced by the live experience, Nova's new songs are both her most loose and direct to date.

Raised on a 40 foot sail boat built by her parents, on which she travelled around the West Indies until the age of 15,Nova grew up listening to The Beatles, Neil Young and Jimmy Cliff. She started writing her own songs at art college, where she majored in film making, before moving to London to pursue a career in music. Her first album, "Glowstars" was little more than a simply structured collection of demos, recorded at home on an eight track. The next release couldn't have been more opposite, the album "Blow" being a tape of a live show that was released to accompany a European tour ,and ended up selling 40,000 in Europe within a few months of release, on the back of some rave live reviews.

The first single from Siren, "London Rain", was released in April '98, it's an 'on the road' song. "As virtually all performers would say, the actual on stage element of touring is fantastic , but all the bullshit that goes with it can make you yearn for some kind of reality, familiar places and familiar faces." The video for the single was shot in Bermuda.

Nova's personal favorite is "Valley Of Sound". It's about simply being overcome by music, where music has a power to bring you to your knees. I was so inspired by an early solo performance of Jeff Buckley's, the way he was willing to really expose his soul. I felt taking you to the depths of feeling we can't sometimes otherwise attain."

"I'm The Girl" is about the idea of ancestral memory. That as a woman I am connected to every woman that has come before me......every archetype....every emotion....has been felt by women before me. Sometimes I'm the siren and sometimes I'm drawn to the rocks myself."

"Paper Cup" is the song about unrequited love, something that might have been. At the same time, trying to hold on to something that can never last".

In the summer of '98, Nova and her new band consisting of Bastion Juel (bass), Berit Fridahl (guitar), Laurie Jenkins (drums) and Nadia Lanman (cello and keyboards), went out on another gruelling world tour, starting with some European club dates, moving onto a US club tour and some dates on the Lillth Fair festival.

A live album was recorded during a further sell-out European tour (due for release late summer) in Germany, where the sales of 'Siren' passed the 100,000 mark as the second single 'Heart and Shoulder' was released.

Currently taking a break to write, she will be doing an acoustic promo trip in Australia and New Zealand through April/May before embarking on a summer of festivals throughout Europe - see gigs section for dates.

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