Photo by Devaki Knowles
Austin’s musical mixing bowl has turned up another confection. Local four-piece Tele Novella is part Voxtrot-slash-Belaire and part Agent Ribbons, but it’s all kinds of sugary sweet.
Natalie Gordon formed Tele Novella early this year after she and Agent Ribbons partner Lauren Hess put their band on hold. She recruited Jason Chronis and Matt Simon (two-thirds of Belaire, and former Voxtrotters) into the fold. Keyboardist Sarah La Puerta rounds out the quartet. The nascent group embarked on a pretty hefty West Coast tour in May and June of this year. They’ll be bouncing around the Texas triangle of DFW, Houston and San Antonio early this November with a couple of Austin dates thrown in, including a special Halloween show at The Owl on the East Side and one at Hotel Vegas on Tuesday Nov. 12.
The Texas dates coincide with the Nov. 5 release of Tele Novella’s debut seven-inch single “Don’t Be a Stranger.” On the flip is “No Excalibur.” The song has a candy-coated exterior, but it also cunningly hides a deliciously woozy psychedelic center. The delightful 60s pop sheen and head-bobbing, calliope-like rhythm lure the listener into a strange magical world, but by the end the merry-go-round starts to spin as the band slowly, and subtly, brings the full flower of the arrangement to bear.