COMING atcha outta Austin, Texas, Tele Novella is currently the duo of vintage shop-owner Natalie Ribbons and Jason Chronis, who collects rare records.
Tele Novella arose from the ashes of other musical projects they were involved deep down in Texas: Agent Ribbons, Voxtrot, Belaire. When they met they knew they could fashion something pretty special.
Self-described as “medieval outsider country”, today they release the first single “Technicolor Town,” from next February’s album, Merlynn Belle, their first for the nice folks at Kill Rock Stars.
Watch the sweet and offbeat video for a song of exactly that nature below: putting their vintage twangy touch on a longing love song. We find Natalie and Jason as vintage jailbirds, guised as mimes and lovers, enjoying popcorn at the local flicks.
The song and the video both play with pop culture referencing to really sweet effect; the Super 8 video feel; the way Natalie’s voice cracks towards yodel as she caresses us with her homespun love of her technicolour town. The song has the proper, old-fashioned country yearn of a track like Harry McLintock’s “Big Rock Candy Mountain”, both knowingly and yet lovingly; and while being wholly rootsy, there’s this very Gallic element to the French new-wave mime clowning, and a romantic chanteuserie to Natalie as well. Utterly charming.
Natalie says of the songs for this, their follow-up to 2016’s House Of Souls: “This is the first time I just let the songs be about real life … real people.”
“Technicolor Town” she describes as “A soft, sparkly and tender meditation on the deep love of place, regardless of how inhospitable it may be; a tipsy, coin-operated ode to being lost and found at the same time. Part lonesome western and part Renaissance Faire, presented with a straight face and humble sincerity.”
Aww, now. I for one can’t wait to hear more.
Tele Novella’s Merlynne Belle will be released by Kill Rock Stars on February 5th, on digital download, CD, trad black and limited green vinyl – and it’s already available for pre-order over at their Bandcamp page, here.