David Novick – Your Sister’s Hand

David-Novick-Your-Sisters-HandRating: ★★★½☆

David Novick is only a few years into his solo career, yet he’s already claimed a great deal of acclaim in that brief span.  His latest LP, Your Sister’s Hand, offers listeners more strong songs from start to finish, though I’ll be the first to admit that I’m more attached to the lyrical numbers that are present.

Your Sister’s Hand starts off with “Gate.”  If you’re one to read into the title of the track, then perhaps this tune is your careful entrance into the world of Novick. The careful guitar work demonstrates just how talented he is; I particularly enjoy the buzz of the strings as they echo through my speakers.  It serves as the perfect opening to the record, leading you right into what many might consider the best tune on the album, “Beneath the Line.”  Musically, the song’s filled with quiet guitar balanced against a discordant solo, at least during the opening moments.  You’ll probably find this track pretty good, but you’ve got to wait until about 2.5 minutes for the song to truly blow you away. Claire Plumb enters here, giving you a gentle whisper of a vocal performance that elevates the song to perfect balladry. These are the sorts of songs where David Novick finds his groove.  For instance, the following track, “Inside the Eye,” brings with it this forlorn vocal that rides along the music.  My favorite bit is how the guitar strumming is accentuated by the careful percussive work at each turn; it’s a special touch for sure.

For me, there are some missteps, but that’s just my personal taste.  I think on “Until You Show” that there are great gifts, but I felt like David put too much on this number, perhaps cramming a touch more than he needed to into this one.  However, it’s a stark contrast to “Ash,” which follows.  This tune has a stark nakedness to it, in both the style of recording and the composition itself.  I imagine the musicians carefully sitting around a campfire quietly singing atop one another.  In doing so, the song is both powerful and subtle.  It’s not going out there to blow you away, yet it does, perfectly.  It helps lead to the bookend of the record, closing in a fashion that reminds you what a unique talent we’ve got here.  Put side by side, “Carry Home the Light” and “Memory” are perhaps the strongest ten minutes of Your Sister’s Hand. The former is one of those tracks that seems so simple and obvious you can’t understand how a track wasn’t written exactly like this before, but further listens allow you to see beneath the surface to the careful touches that make the song mesmerizing. The latter is a 7 minute opus that you’ll have to listen to fully in order for you to really grasp what has been accomplished here.  Rather than rush everything into the first few minutes, the song unfolds effortlessly, taking its time to warm you over. Together, these two tracks close out a wonderful collection of songs from David Novick that only careful listeners will truly appreciate.


Download: David Novick – Beneath The Line [MP3]

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