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The sun is shining, birds are singing, my puppy is asleep, and I’m writing reviews. Today, it’s Future Echoes by NOVACUB.
Who are NOVACUB? They’re an indie-pop quartet, including two members of Bloc Party (maybe you’ve heard of them). Future Echoes is their debut EP. What type of music do we have here exactly? Indie-rock of course, but lead singer Louise Bartle says it best:
“If you ever find yourself listening to shredding guitars and thrashing drums—you’ll like it, if you ever imagine embracing an angry female rapping over punk music, we got you! Want a dance party or a feeling of melancholy? Well, look NO further.”
Oddly, the broad mix of genres is a frustrating aspect of Future Echoes. Not every EP needs a cohesive sound, vibe, or message, but I feel this release does. The EP is a five-track collection and all five are sure to go down well in a live setting—it’s highly energetic, catchy, and accessible.
For the most part, the songs are well crafted and neatly structured, but some songs feel lost toward the end. Musically it’s all good—tight and just really pleasing on the ears. Production is near perfect, but sometimes the vocals are slightly too high, dominating the mix. Lastly, the vocals, while solid overall, are lacking something at certain points, not hitting the same heights on every track. Saying that, Louise Bartle has a powerful voice with great range.
‘I Still Need It’ and ‘Strike’ are two highlights and the most consistent songs in all departments. ‘I Still Need It’ is a perfect blend of indie rock and pop. ‘Strike’ has such a unique, cool intro and that bass is just divine. It has a tropical feel and I can see it doing well on the radio and in clubs. From repeated listens, I can safely say it’s the best track on the EP. Often, energy, chemistry, and a sense of fun are lacking in musical releases, but NOVACUB have all of this multiplied by ten.
While I found the lack of cohesion frustrating at first, on second thought, it might be a good thing. The EP showcases the band’s talents and their ability to flit between genres. Perhaps I was slightly harsh, because the release captures their energy and chemistry perfectly.
The energy level here is a 10, so one can only imagine how fun their live shows must be and, usually, that’s the biggest challenge—seeing how the crowd reacts in a live setting. I can’t imagine that’ll be a problem for this talented cast of characters. The music video for ‘Strike’ is so fun and creative that I found myself cracking a smile throughout. Seriously, it’s a sight to behold.
Anyone who likes high-energy, catchy indie rock should check out Future Echoes. It’s a solid, fun listen—despite a few minor criticisms. NOVACUB are fun and quirky, and they’ve got limitless potential.
Future Echoes is out now via LAB Records.