Interview: The Novel Ideas

“There’s something about a sad country song sung in a sad way that moves me more than anything else,” explains Daniel Radin of Massachusetts-based country folk band The Novel Ideas. “For all of us, there’s something about earnest, subtly sad music that hits us.”

The band released a self-titled album in early September, which features 11 countrified heartstring-tuggers and soaring, sunlit harmonies. “We recorded with Rick Parker, who we knew because of his work with Lord Huron. We were big fans, we got to play a show with them, and heard about a studio they were building up,” Radin recalls. “The stars aligned, and we ended up being one of the first bands to play in the new studio. It was this beautiful place, which was supposed to be Motown West, but it never got started that way. It was our first effort as a five piece; we struggled to get it to a place that we thought represented our live show, but we sent it to Ryan Freeland for mixing, and he did a great job.”

“We’re really good at getting bogged down in details, and Rick was good at keeping us on track,” Radin laughs. “He came at things from a totally different angle; Ryan was good at getting our harmonies to a place that sounded ‘real.’ On some of our favorite albums, the harmonies sound almost too perfect, or you can’t hear the individual voices, and that’s important to us,” he adds. “He made it sound like you’re standing in front of us and watching us perform.”

The Novel Ideas, who had been playing the songs on the road for quote some time, we glad to finally have them recorded and released in physical form, and are now focusing their efforts on supporting the music through extensive touring. “We want to play it for as many people as possible,” Radin says of the album. “We’ve received lots of personal messages from folks who have been affected by our music, some of them have moved me to tears. You’re singing about your deepest, darkest emotions, and sometimes you don’t know if anyone is relating to it. We love knowing that people connect to the songs,” he adds. “It keeps us going.”

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Susan Hubbard

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