‘1102’ by Novelty Island | New EP, ‘Taped Over’
Exclusive video premiere of ‘1102’ by Novelty Island, taken from the forthcoming EP ‘Taped Over,’ out February 2nd via Nine X Nine.
Novelty Island is the psychedelic-pop project of Liverpool-based songwriter / producer, Tom McConnell. He will follow up the acclaimed LP ‘Wallsend Weekend Television’ with a new 8-track EP featuring a suite of music called ‘Taped Over’. It will be released via Nine x Nine Records on February 2nd. The EP is a companion piece to ‘Wallsend Weekend Television’ as Tom composed and recorded it alongside the album over a number of years. Inspired by the structure of Brian Wilson’s unreleased masterpiece ‘SMiLE’ and the medleys on Kate Bush’s ‘Hounds of Love’ and The Beatles’ ‘Abbey Road,’ McConnell wanted to create a suite of music to reflect the sounds of a late 1990s / early 2000s childhood. He tinkered away on the dream-like piece at home in Liverpool and during his stint living, working, studying and sleeping at Abbey Road Institute and Abbey Road Studios. After multiple permutations and track listings, he landed on the eight songs that form ‘Taped Over’. The EP’s hazy melodies and warped Boards Of Canada-inspired synths sit in an audio-patchwork of old computers, cassettes and cartoon soundtracks. It’s an elaborate, intricate piece of modern-psychedelia, blending elements of vaporwave, hauntology and classic pop songwriting.
“’Taped Over’ acts like a sort-of time capsule preserving sounds and scenes that I don’t want to forget” says Tom who composed, produced and performs nearly everything on ‘Taped Over’ which climaxes with the dramatic lead single and EP-finale ‘1102’. The abstract lyrics to tracks like ‘Thinkin’ Things / Road Signs’ and ‘Hotspur’ reference his childhood in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne while ‘Word Art’ and ‘Sage Guitars’ reflect on a lifelong obsession with creativity and surrealism; a theme that is apparent in all of Tom’s work for Novelty Island’s albums, videos and artwork.
‘Taped Over’ is the next release in a prolific run. After a series of psychedelic EPs, the debut album ‘How Are You Coping With This Century’ was released in 2021. It led to the Novelty Island live band performing at Glastonbury and supporting Sea Power and The Pale White around the UK. McConnell then turned to recordings he’d made as a student at Abbey Road Institute for the second Novelty Island album, ‘Wallsend Weekend Television’. The album was released in March 2023 and followed by a 10- date UK headline tour.