Novo Amor is the artistic name of British musician Ali Lacy, a writer and performer of soulful songs that feature a beautiful high voice and the enchanting accompaniment of an acoustic guitar. Listening to his compositions brings to mind the American indie-folk band Bon Iver and Irish folk singer James Vincent McMorrow.
Three years after his debut EP, Woodgate, New York, in the spring of 2017, Novo Amor’s second mini-album was released on Believe Recordings’ internal label. Its title is Bathing Beach. Commenting on this solo project, the author voiced its main theme: about people and places that come and go, leaving behind for everyone baggage in the form of experiences and memories. We carry them in our minds and hearts to the very end. This is the phenomenon of our memory – to keep in the depths of our souls all that is dear. It’s clear that the songs of Novo Amor don’t contain references to specific events, specific addresses or original names of people: the lyrics sometimes sound vague. There’s poetic and musical imagery and a precise transfer of the artist’s emotions.
The creative concept of Novo Amor
Welsh multi-instrumentalist Ali John Meredith-Lacey released his first track and began producing in 2012. He took the Portuguese-Latin alias Novo Amor to realize his projects. “New Love” for the 20-year-old artist at the time had literal meaning. The young man had suffered an emotionally difficult breakup with his lover. Now he focused on the music that had become his great love, and he put the hope of new bright feelings in the title.
With a soft falsetto in the upper register, Ali Lacy sings soulful, emotion-filled signature songs to the echo of guitar strings. Arrangements range from lyrical ballads to bright orchestral harmonies. One thing that remains unchanged is the minimalistic sound design and the emphasis on the stirring lead voice. This creates a high level of intimacy in the songs. The lyrics sound very trusting and the music is captivatingly melodic.
The meaning of the song Carry You
The composition Carry You is the lead single of Bathing Beach’s solo mini-album. The author describes “Carry You” as “a thoughtful bow to a certain period of time. It’s about the events of five years ago and a place to which he can no longer return. Time flies forward, dividing life into present and past. Only memories remain in the memory, which evokes a light, sentimental feeling of nostalgia. We are drawn to the places where we used to feel good. In one of his social media posts, the musician explicitly called Carry You “an expression of nostalgia.”
From the first lines, the song’s personal meaning to Lacey is revealed. What was, is gone, what’s done can’t be undone: “Broken, full of some pain, someday our youth will take the blame.” Thus the words convey his heartache at parting with the girl. He laments that the relationship did not work out: “Borrowed a love that never came.” The experience has left him deeply traumatized and changed him: “The old me is no longer there. I will never be the same.” He tells his friend, “Let this take your love away,” and adds “…in all your guilt, in all your pain, I will carry you always.”
The artistic peculiarity of the song lies in the fact that it is not written “hot off the presses,” but after a certain time has passed. Events that have left an indelible mark in the human soul, with the height of the years lived and accumulated life experience get a new coloring and get a different assessment. And so the matured Ali Lacy encapsulated this story and its emotional content in a kind of permanent wrap. He romanticized that time and is now nostalgic for the past.
The point of Carry You is that the author does not express resentment, nor does he show deep disappointment. Having gone through the years, he looks at the events calmly, with a sense of light sadness. The singer sentimentally glorifies and mourns that period of life, appreciating it for what it was. The significance of the loss in Lacey’s life is too great, too transforming for him to part with the memories. He will remember it: “I never lost my way. I will always carry you!” Carry You’s thoughtful lyrics show the full palette of love relationships, the bitterness of loss, the pain of longing, and the beauty and power of human memory.