Novel - Put It On
Industry politics may have left Novel feeling like he’s stuck in Suspended Animation, but his recent output has shown no sign of creative stagnation—if Put It On, the second leak off his forthcoming mixtape, is any indication, he’s as determined as ever to continue pushing things forward, living up to his stage name with tunes that are atypical, avant-garde, offbeat, fresh, funky, and now (shouts to thesaurus.com!). Lyrically, Novel’s latest feature is a fairly conventional R&B love ballad, but, as far as sound is concerned, it’s a bit of a departure. Here, he goes all-out with the synths, crafting a chilly, hypnotically downtempo instrumental that sounds almost as if it could slow to a dead stop at any moment. It’s undeniably catchy, but it leaves the emotional heavy lifting to the artist’s vocals—unsurprisingly, Novel rises to the occasion with soulful verses and a hook that reaches for listeners’ heartstrings through an intricate web of studio-assisted harmonies and robotic vocal filters. For more of the reader-acclaimed renaissance man’s ever-surprising musical stylings, download a copy of his Suspended Animation mixtape when it drops next Tuesday, July 3rd.