Initially started as the solo recording project of its creative mastermind, vocalist and keyboardist, Helen Fang, a former MTV VJ in 2011, the Beijing-based Nova Heart expanded to a trio when Fang recruited Bo Xuan (bass) Shi Lu, a.k.a Atom (drums) to further flesh out the project’s sound. With the release of their debut EP, Beautiful Boys, the trio received national and international attention. In their native China, the trio are a blogosphere sensation, as their music has received over 700,000 streams of Xiami (the Chinese equivalent of Spotify, Pandora and Soundcloud), 200,00 video views on LeTV (the Chinese version of Netflix) and 150,000 video views on Youku (the Chinese version of YouTube). The trio has the unique distinction of being the first Chinese rock act to be played on Australia’s internationally renowned Triple J Radio, and they’ve received praise for a sound that’s been compared to New Order, Ladytron and Blondie (the band’s been dubbed the Chinese Blondie, actually) from the likes of VICE, NME, Rolling Stone and others.
The trio is busily expanding their name and profile both in their native China and across the rest of the Western world. They’ve toured across both their native China and Europe, playing some large festivals, including Transmusicales, Iceland Airwaves and Glastonbury, as well as dates in several of Germany’s most prestigious museums.
“Lackluster No.,” the first single off the trio’s forthcoming debut full-length album is a sleek and coolly, swaggering and seductive song consisting of a sinuous bass line, Fang’s cooed vocals, angular and shimmering guitar chords, simple and propulsive drumming before cascading synth stabs enter and explode towards the song’s second half – it gives the song a noirish, shadowy air that’s irresistible and deadly.
The recently released official video is a gorgeously shot noir-ish video with a difficult to discern story line, filed with shadowy, elegant looking people, darkened alleys and neon-lit streets and shadowy situations – including one in which the video’s pregnant protagonist fears for the safety of her unborn baby. It’s hauntingly weird and channels the eeriness of a film like Rosemary’s Baby.