It's good to see pop music getting weird again. Take, for example, enigmatic Cincinnati wunderkind Nova Moura. The singer-songwriter's got soul in spades, with a silken croon that draws easy comparisons to the likes of The Weeknd and Miguel. But that's about where the similarities end, if Nova's debut mixtape, Descension, Ramona Vol. 1—premiering on Noisey below—is any indication.
Its four self-produced and -recorded tracks amount to a soundtrack of late night introspection and isolation, rife with underwater rhythms, warped melodies, and the standout vulnerability of Nova's vocals. Intercut with haunting samples of old Andy Kaufman recordings, the whole thing amounts to a surreal listening experience that feels at once distant and relentlessly intimate. With a new single, "Good Plan, Sweetheart," just released and a Vol. 2 mixtape on the way, you'd be wise to keep ears out for this new pop dark horse.
Here's what Nova had to tell Noisey about his project and the Vol. 1 mixtape:
I spent a long time creating this project using inspiration found around me in people, experiences and places. I struggled until I realized I was writing about things I didn’t really feel and issues that didn’t completely interest me. Eventually, and from a place of brokenness I began to write about me; my thoughts, my emotions, my state of mind and this deep sense of loneliness and isolation I have felt all my life.
And so this project became an exploration of myself and people like me; people who exist within themselves; people like me who experience great loneliness and isolation even in a crowd. People who “feel” with crippling intensity....This project is who I am.
Listen to the premiere of Nova Moura's Descension, Ramona Vol. 1 below, and download a copy here.