INDIEFOLKFOREVER.COM: Inspiration for Pink In The Sink
A Better Offer (a week of posts on Novi Split)
“Here we go again. For the next two weeks we will be covering Novi Split exclusively. We will have all things Novi Split. If you haven’t heard their music yet, check out the links to the right. There is plenty of music to start with. But check back often because A Better Offer will have TONS of information about Novi Splits music, band information, and current tour dates–as well as MP3s and an exclusive interview. That’s right. That’s how we roll here at A Better Offer…”
CLOAK AND DAGGER RADIO LISTEN PARTY (.mp3)
Novi Split’s David J—no, not the Bauhaus and Love And Rockets dude—-claims his latest disc Pink In The Sink was inspired by staring into the coils of a space heater while listening to Rod McKuen’s The Single Man. And it shows: The record is an introverted affair full of soft strums, viola, cheap keys, and subdued breakbeats smeared with bored, plainspoken vocals. A recent member of Ben Barnett’s overlooked Kind Of Like Spitting, J shares that project’s love of pop-song recontextualizing: Pink features a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing In The Dark” that veers between black humor and pit-of-the-gut poignancy. The cozy Meadowlark should serve as a simpatico setting for Novi Split’s whisper-in-your-ear bedroom folk.
“Pink in the Sink is sure to gain Novi Split many listeners. I would certainly recommend this album to fans of Bright Eyes, Brett Dennen, and Tracy Chapman. The upbeat music of you got served opens the album nicely, and is then followed shortly after by the lullaby like “California Skies” on track three. Jerkovich breaks the flow of the album on track four with a melancholy remake of Beyonceâ€™s “Crazy in Love”. Jerkovichâ€™s slower version, with longing in his voice, offers a new take on the lyrics of “Crazy in Love”; however, I found myself missing the energy and over-the-top quality of the original. The hook and beat in “Doctor” make it one of the catchiest songs on the album. It is laced with a Moby like hook of background vocals saying â€œItâ€™ll be alright,â€ while Jerkovich sings. Leaving it is also a notable song on the album with Jerkovichâ€™s charming boy-like tone of voice singing about growing apart from a romantic partner after the contagiousness of â€œwanting to still feel amazed.â€ Listeners of Novi Split will undoubtedly have the opposite reaction then the sentiment in leaving it, by wanting to continue their relationship with David Jerkovich after experiencing Pink in the Sink, and being thankful for the amazing opportunity to listen to a good friend sit down and tell some stories.”
“Novi Split is the project of David Jerkovich, former member of several bands, including Kind of Like Spitting, who came to my attention recently through MySpace. I first fell in love with the song “California Skies” from the CD Pink In the Sink which was released in March. David J. is from San Pedro, an oceanside outskirt of Los Angeles, so I was especially interested in a fellow southern Californian.
Then I found that he also does some dandy covers, and we all like cover songs, right? In fact, he says, “Covers are the best thing about being a musician, period.” You should hear what he’s done to Springsteen’s “Dancing In the Dark” and Material Issue’s “The Very First Lie” (big old favorite of mine). Pink In the Sink contains his excellent cover of Beyonce’s “Crazy In Love.” Go here to watch a video of Novi Split performing Weezer’s “Jamie” live.
Now, most of what I know about Novi Split I found out by reading A Better Offer blog, whose author has spent the past two weeks posting about Novi Split and interviewing David Jerkovich. I really admire that amount of focus and think it’s a great job. If you want to know how to get to those cover songs I mentioned earlier, check this post here.
Where did the band name come from? David J. has friends he visits in Split, Czechoslovakia. Novi means “new.” New Split, see?
[listen] California Skies
Other highly recommended tracks from Pink In the Sink: “Doctor,” “Open,” and “Leaving It,” as well as “Crazy In Love.” Oh heck, just get the whole thing.
More proof that great minds think alike: Go over to yesterday’s post at Can You See the Sunset From the Southside for more on Novi Split and two additional tracks. The more you hear, the more you’ll like.”
David has played in groups like Kind Of Like Spitting, The Real Diego, and Ill Lit. On Novi Split’s full-length Pink In The Sink it shows. The songs are filled up with gentle drumming, acoustic guitars, occasional strings, and David’s plaintive but pleasant voice. It is simple and melancholy folk-influenced indie pop that probably won’t inspire you to dance or shout, but sometimes you just need to relax. RIYL: Death Cab For Cutie, Denison Witmer, etc…”
“Well, because I donâ€™t detect pretension here. I canâ€™t sniff and smell any ulterior motives. There also doesnâ€™t seem to be any desire to achieve anything besides good songs. And they are good songs… Good songs go a long way.”
“Jerkovich shares a musical warmth as Novi Split, his voice right up against your ear… the music percolating between electronic touches and organic wood and strings. With it’s sharp piano notes and rustling violin, David J makes it adamantly clear that these songs mean a helluva lot to him and that makes this a recording well worth your time, one bearing honest feelings delivered in the art of song.”
“Simple melodies wrapped in complex arrangements. Great string parts, good use of subtle electronics, and at times itâ€™s pretty epic sounding. He even does a great cover of â€œCrazy In Loveâ€ by Beyonce that kicks the originalâ€™s ass.”
“His upcoming sophomore LP, Pink in the Sink, includes a cover of Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love”. David J played almost every instrument on it, including guitar, drums, bass, percussion, piano, keyboards, among other noisemakers. The result is one that sometimes defies Jerkovich’s West Coast roots.”
For Keep Moving [Sunset Alliance; 2003]
CLOAK AND DAGGER MEDIA
Keep Moving is yet another original project for Sunset Alliance, that Arizona label that keeps on broadening their field of expertise. Like Rajiv Patel’s Obey The Cattle, this Novi Split disc introduces an entirely different style to the primarily rock-concerned record label. These songs are much less electric and more personal than the imprint’s previous work – each tune has been carefully laid out and recorded on lo-fi equipment, resulting in fifteen distinctly potent pop nuggets. The songwriting is calm but deceptively intricate – the lyrics, meanwhile, are heartfelt and emotional. At times the band sounds like Guided By Voices, while at others they tend towards Sparklehorse tendencies.
“The ‘Risks'” is a nice example of what Novi Split are capable of when they’re on their game. A close comparison would be Pedro the Lion’s “The Longer I Lay Here.” The two songs share the same personal atmosphere, and also have somewhat similar melodies. Other favourites include the bare-bones “300 Copies” and the very warm, Sparklehorse-tinged “You Sleep, I Drive.” None of the tunes are particularly unpleasant, but only a select few stand out from the rest. This makes for a listenable album – one you could be inclined to play more than a few times – but not one you’re likely to grow attached to. If enjoyable, lo-fi pop appeals to you, Keep Moving is an obvious choice.
The gurus in the Sunset Alliance camp are geniuses. They have gathered together a fantastic roster of bands, and Sunset Alliance itself is quickly becoming one of my favorite labels. It’s just all so good! The latest Sunset Alliance band that I have the pleasure of reviewing is a little band by the name of Novi Split.
But the music feels like it should on an album with no fanfare: humble, inviting, and not hyped. Some ‘small’ releases like these suffer from being too small; they only make sense to the people writing them as a labor of love. Not Novi Split. This acoustic driven folk/pop connects subtly but instantly. Songs such as “Glory! Glory!” are so understated that the confessional lyrics and soft-spoken vocal delivery create the illusion that you are actually having a conversation with the lyricist. It’s the epitome of enveloping.
The closest thing that Novi Split has to a radio single would be “Tonight! Tonight!”, a nearly 3-minute pop exclamation point that combines catchy melodies with Novi Split’s characteristic honesty and inclusiveness. It reminded me of Sixpence None the Richer, only with male vocals and less annoying bounce to the arrangement.
Novi Split prominently features two members of Kind of like Spitting, and while it’s clearly not exactly the same music, the general sound should be familiar to fans of the other band. It’s a similarly stripped-down style of nakedly emotional musicâ€”the kind of stuff that all the pop-punkers with shaggy hair have given such a bad name to.
I must be turning into a truly pretentious hipster, though, because I enjoy this. It has a lot of charm and a much more genuine core of feeling than you find on most other recordings. It’s very raw, very immediate and often very moving.