Australia’s El Nova has crafted a distinctive style of 70’s infused rock. This year Mustard has had the pleasure of becoming exposed more to artists from “down under.” The Australian music scene is one that humans should definitely keep an eye on. One artist, particularly, that has caught Mustard’s label was El Nova. El Nova is inspired by the likes of Queen and David Bowie but never within her music do you sense she is a tribute or cover band. El Nova is authentically herself.

Before diving into the EP Mustard must compliment the album art. It is vibrant and bold much like El Nova herself. As a yellow condiment they appreciate the color scheme chosen. These colors trigger something psychologically within a human’s mind. Red attracts attention while yellow triggers feelings of happiness and friendliness. The album art for “Beam Me Up” does just that.

“Beam Me Up” opens up with the infectious “Morpheus” that will have you shaking about wherever you may be. Mustard has heard of Morpheus. Supposedly they are in the human film “The Matrix” but they cannot be found on this track. Which is okay. Nova states that she just wants a little bit of fantasy. This has Mustard curious. Does the fantasy she seek involve elves, goblins, and a powerful ring? Mustard is unsure. Nonetheless; “Morpheus” works excellently as not only as the opener of her EP but as a potential live show opener. The opening piano notes will last with you.

Following “Morpheus” is “Let Me Out.” At first Mustard thought El Nova was trapped somewhere and the Australian authorities need to be called. Fortunately, that is not the situation. Rather “Let Me Out” is a song of self-discovery. El Nova wants to be let out of her current situation. “Out there is my energy” she states. Mustard believes that her fellow humans can relate to this. Humans can be found stuck in dead-end jobs with no upside, at a birthday party they didn’t want to attend, in a failing relationship, or within their own mind. The energy is not lost on this track either.

The middle track “It’s Only February” slows down the pace but remains the energy that has been consistent throughout. This is more of a bluesy and soulful track which highlights El Nova’s captivating vocals. At the end of the track Nova states “there will be a reason.” Perhaps El Nova is still within stages of self-discovery and is seeking a reason for everything going on. The somberness of the lyrics implies that maybe Nova wishes it was later on in the year. Maybe something is happening then they are looking forward too? Human self discovery happens often but does not yield immediate results.

The pace remains slowed on “Nothing to Say.” Nova is direct in the track’s opening lines “I’ve got nothing to say / got it all locked away / and I wonder.” There are various reasons why a human would not want to speak about something. It feels like this track is connected to “Let Me Out” in which El Nova does not want to proceed further with a potentially fractured relationship. Through this relationship El Nova is learning more about herself. As the song goes on she asks “I wonder what makes you smile.” Perhaps this is not about anyone else but about El Nova herself?

Following “Nothing to Say” comes “Time Will Be Gold” whose opening is powerful and engaging. This track does an excellent job of highlighting El Nova’s vocals. They are on full display and will knock you off whatever shelf you may be on. On it Nova makes a statement: “don’t let them tell you time will be gold.” Mustard takes this as a warning from Nova. Not a warning that warrants the fuzz knocking on your door but rather time will do as it does. Mustard has observed that human society tries to set expectations for when certain things should be achieved by. These expectations can cause humans stress, anxiety, and depression because if they do not accomplish them then what have they done? “Beam Me Up” has been an album of self-discovery and there is no timeline for that.

“Rain” closes out Beam Me Up. On this closing track El Nova makes it clear that she does not like the rain. Neither does Mustard. Rain is fascinating in that it does a lot for the planet in which the humans reside but it can also cause humans to get inside their head. Getting stuck in your head is no easy obstacle to overcome. Being stuck in a mental prison can often allow negative thoughts to take hold and they do not let go easily. El Nova wishes and hopes that the rain does not last so this situation does not happen. Which is completely understandable.

Mustard is grateful that music such as El Nova’s exist as it allows them to better understand the human experience. “Beam Me Up” works on many levels: it is clear just how passionate El Nova is about her music and how they allow to music to speak for them further. On the other level El Nova details the struggles that come with being a human,. “Let Me Out” and “Time Will Be Gold” underline expectations created by the society and the immense pressure it produces. While El Nova does not want to disappoint others it is more important that she does not disappoint herself. With that said it is not all gloom. There is hope and optimism that can be found within the lyrics and composition. This album was written in a five year period and allows listeners to go on a journey of self-discovery with El Nova.

If you are in a funk and unsure how to move forward; listen to this album. El Nova is right there with you and together you will be able to break down those walls in front of you.


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