One to watch: November Ultra | Pop and rock


Perhaps, if one day Adele was free to make more experimental music, she would sound something like November Ultra, a Parisian singer-songwriter with a marvellously expressive voice that glides serenely over a mixture of offbeat ballads and darkly dramatic confessionals. Nova grew up in France with a Spanish mother and Portuguese father and has been singing since she was three, when her grandfather taught her how to sing in the Spanish romantic narrative tradition copla, as well as 60s musical songs.

Add to that a love of Frank Ocean – whose legendary Nostalgia, Ultra mixtape inspired her name – a proficiency in professional songwriting for acts such as Jaden Smith, and Nova’s intensely vivacious personality, and you get her fascinating debut, Bedroom Walls. Her breakthrough song Soft & Tender is sung in English with smatterings of Spanish and French, as Nova finds her home languages too exposing to sing in all the time. It’s taken three years to corral “a big bowl of emotions and mess” into this album, and now she has to get her head around touring it as well. “It’s like a first date every concert,” she says. “Butterflies! You feel everything. We realise how precious it is, and how much we missed it.”

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