The Ottawa-born, Montreal-based emerging pop star and producer returns with his sophomore EP via his record label, Blood Moon Records.
By: Sun Noor
Gregory-Yves Fénélon, who goes by the pseudonym NOVEMBER made his mark onto the scene back in the spring of 2018 with the release of his debut EP, “Romance in Silver.” He developed a complex sound ranging from modern pop, 80s alternative and R&B, paired with his nuanced, baritone vocals. Earlier this fall, NOVEMBER, released singles, “Jerome,” and “Soft Metal,” setting the tone for Bedroom Eyes.
Fénélon has always had a creative mind and took an interest in music early on in life with the R&B wave of the 2000s being introduced to him by cousins. He went on to gain a passion for theatre, choir, dance and music, pursuing musical theatre studies in Philadelphia before moving to Montreal to earn his BFA in acting. In terms of musical influences, he sites the seminal productions found on Depeche Mode’s Violator and Lady Gaga’s Born This Way, inspiring him to start experimenting with dynamic melodies to evoke different moods.
When giving more of a context on this record, NOVEMBER mentions, “This EP is about evolving and coming to terms with some of the more beautiful parts of living but acknowledging what can happen during the harder ones. I recognize that this project will be many people’s introduction to me so I wanted to create a short body of work that still takes them on a journey from start to end.” He adds, “The genres may shift a little but I really put everything I could into every sound and lyric because I want new and old listeners to finish the last track and feel their own sense of emotional catharsis.” He also wrote, produced and preformed all of the songs on the EP himself.
Similar to his debut, the record is carried by NOVEMBER’s prominent vocals and his demonstration of range. He takes on a slightly darker and melancholic tone with a theatrical element, which complements the layered arrangements that gradually build up. Despite the EP’s clear cut production technique, it takes on the style of a live performance.The record commences with “I Became The Moon,” which slowly builds up to a big crescendo towards the end of the song. To add to the ambient mood evoked through the song, this number also contains an interlude halfway through, as the arrangements build up and the vocals are more layered and distorted. “Jewels,” takes on the form of an intricate, echoing ballad that smoothly transitions to “Soft Metal,” where the ominous tone is picked up with the instrumentation, smoothly blending with the vocals. “Be Easy,” has a more grandiose allure with sultry arrangements and echoing melodies complementing the main vocals. The final track “Red Room,” which has a similar appeal, while carrying that grandeur throughout the song through the blend of harmonies, subtle percussion elements and prominent vocals. Sonically, It also perfectly encapsulates the ideas presented throughout the record, as it perfectly culminates the project.
Download/stream “BEDROOM EYES,” here.
Header photo provided by NOVEMBER.