Glacial Glow

by Noveller

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    "Noveller is the nom de musique of Sarah Lipstate, whose precise compositions build on a cathartic repetition of righteous riff action colored with gorgeous loopingfuckdoodlery and noise gush," explains The Village Voice in introducing her album "Glacial Glow." The more mannered Wall Street Journal likens her "use of her guitar to explore sonic territory similar to the mid-70s experiments of Brian Eno and King Crimson Robert Fripp." They only touch on the unique way that Lipstate interacts with her Fender Jaguar and a layout of pedals that Guitar Player has run extensive features and analysis on and inspired Red Bull to anoint her one of the Best 30 Guitarists Under 30. As a member of both Rhys Chatham's Guitar Army and Glenn Branca's 100 Guitar Ensemble, and as a collaborator with the likes of Lee Renaldo and Jim Thirlwell, Lipstate has emerged as one of the most exciting and interesting guitarists of this era. With "Glacial Glow" Lipstate honed Noveller into what Pitchfork called "a stronger, bolder voice" giving "each track a distinct theme, telling wordless stories." Originally released in 2011 as a limited edition on Weird Forest, following the success of her most recent "Fantastic Planet" album, Fire Records is reissuing the album to a wider audience.

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Sarah Lipstate is Noveller and Glacial Glow is her most assured, accomplished statement to date. Lipstate largely sheds the distortion and feedback present in much of her earlier work. Instead, she relies on instantly memorable melodies, a wider sonic palette, and excellent pacing to deliver arguably her best album.

Noveller announces her intentions from the opening track, appropriately titled "Entering", as the syncopated rhythm of the melody represents a new twist from her previous guitar work. This is only the hors d'oeuvre for the stunning "Glacial Wave", which drifts along serenely until Lipstate rains down gorgeous arpeggios like icy shards from the heavens. Other pieces feature sparse arrangements anchored by pulsing throbs which evoke a subtle, creeping anxiety more menacing than the feel-good retro-horror soundtracks making the rounds these days.

Throughout Glacial Glow, Lipstate exercises restraint and a fleeting melancholy feeling pervades the album. It says something about an album's quality when the closing track, "Ends", is chosen as the lead-off video. Ocean sounds combine with the lovely chord progression and guitar lines to create an uplifting, yet slightly wistful feeling and a perfect bookend to the record.


released May 30, 2011

Recorded by Sarah Lipstate
Produced by Sarah Lipstate & Chris Habib
Mastered by James Plotkin



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Noveller Brooklyn, New York

Noveller is the solo project of Brooklyn-based guitarist and filmmaker Sarah Lipstate. Handling the electric guitar as her muse, Lipstate summons a sonic palette so rich as to challenge the listener to conceive of how it’s housed in a single instrument manipulated by a solitary performer. ... more

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