album of the week: Secret Princess - NOVA ONE
There are some wishes and desires that we will never share with others. That longing you feel for someone else or the dreams you have of a happily ever after remain locked away; tucked inside your heart. As for NOVA ONE, secret Princess feels as if you’ve been permitted to explore one’s romantic, woozy, and dazzling revelations. Each single contained on this album feels akin to a secret that’s larger than our own hearts can hold — the record is intimate and heartbreaking. And it’s led by the magical, tender vocals of Roz Raskin.
Secret Princess is a musical moment that you wish could last endlessly. It begins with “if you were mine,” a swinging string-filled ballad that sweeps you off your feet, as Raskin’s airy vocals wishes for days spent “naked in the sun” with one that’s yet to be theirs. It radiates with a warmth that feels as if you’re seated beneath that very sun she sings of, and it’s the perfect introduction to just how special this experience truly is.
Longing later turns to contemplation on the unhurried “your girl,” which prickles your senses with a deliberate plucking of strings that back Raskin’s coy whisper. From there, it’s as if you’re led down a corridor, Raskin guiding you through with an assurance, her vocals this unstoppable, but dreamy presence. And whether you’re twirling in the upbeat melodies and sparkling guitar twang of “where you are” or you surrender yourself to the graceful, moody instrumentals found in the powerful “chores,” you can’t help but feel the immense weight of NOVA ONE’s confessions.
As the recording draws to a close, “mary” and “sleeptalking” provide a delightfully memorable sendoff. In its final seconds, “sleeptaking” closes with a quiet boldness. As Raskin nearly whispers of one that speaks out in their sleep, only a pattern of strings is there to back her. There’s no rush to wake from this memory, as guitar ring out, expanding and falling into Raskin’s soprano until the last of the album’s notes echo out. And while we’re often quick to step away from a record, to press play on the next song in our queue and continue on, secret princess ends in such a way that you’re left feeling blissful, as if all that you experienced was a passing dream, a reminder to let yourself feel and fall in love.