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“The Novel Ideas is a novel idea”

By Denebola
Published: February 2008

By Moire Corcoran and Antoine Guillaume

The song “Richard Parker is the epitome of The Novel Ideas. Lyrical, sincere, and witty, the song tells the story of Pi Patel and his metaphysical tiger, Richard Parker, from the novel Life of Pi by Yann Martel.

Last year, South graduate Daniel Radin formed the band The Novel Ideas. Originally, formed to emulate the band My Bloody Valentine, Radin decided to change perspectives when he wasn’t satisfied with the music that he created.

He decided, instead, to revert to a more acoustic sound and incorporate female vocals much like the conversational style behind the male and female vocals of Stars.This style appeared on their first album, Say Hello, which was recorded by Radin and fellow South graduates Danny Hoshino, Eric Faber, and senior Luke Pyenson. This year, Alex Caplow and Will Radin joined the band to fill in for Hoshino and Faber, who graduated last year.

The band’s diversity creates an atmosphere and sound unique to The Novel Ideas. “I think they have a really great dynamic because of all the different collaborators. It’s like they don’t only want to make music, but they also want to share their music with others, senior Grace Ellis said. “Like at the CD release show, when they brought out accordions and ukuleles and tambourines, and everyone got on stage and sang. It wasn’t so much about the music but the connections the music made between the audience and the band.

The Novel Ideas recorded their album with the intention of making all eleven songs sound different. According to senior Victoria Krinsky, designer of the album artwork for The Novel Ideas, they succeeded in their goal. “What makes them different is that they don’t stick to a specific genre or style. Every song has meaning. If something leaves some sort of impression on Dan, then he’ll write about it, and I think that leaves an impression on the listener, Krinsky said.

“I’m really fond of the instrumentation, guitarist and back-up vocalist Alex Caplow said. “The plethora of instruments- the strings, the accordion, the mandolin, and so many other things- gives a really unique quality to each song. It’s really original, not like anything out there.

Though each song on the album is different, they are connected by Radin’s signature storytelling and concordant lyrics along with lush swells of music intertwined with strong yet intimate vocals.

Personifying the wit that characterizes The Novel Ideas, female vocalist Jeannie Yoon commented, “The Novel Ideas is a novel idea.

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