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Album Review

While they may sound like a novelty act on paper, the Nouvellas — led by two 21st century white girls channeling black soul music from the 1960s — are charming and fairly genuine on their debut album. Most of this group chased a similar muse several years prior with the Dansettes, another co-ed ensemble with an affinity for Motown and Stax Records, and they stick to what they do best with the Nouvellas, pitting girl group harmonies and Aretha-styled growls against contributions from a three-piece R&B band. Jaime Kozyra and Leah Fishman are the biggest players here, navigating the narrow territory between and pastiche and authenticity with their throaty, supersized voices. They’re not concerned with sounding hip as much as sounding like the real thing, and they’re at their most convincing whenever they sing together. It doesn’t hurt that Kozyra and Fishman have a crackerjack band at their disposal, and the Nouvellas round out their sound with layers of tambourine, slinky basslines, reverb-heavy guitar, and a cameo by Black Hollies frontman (and Nouvellas co-founder) Justin Angelo Morey. This is pure revivalism, of course, free of the contemporary spin that artists like Amy Winehouse and Adele put on their own material, but those listeners itching to the time warp should be sated.


Formed: New York, NY

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

Generating a kind of pumped-up garage soul rock sound led by dual lead vocalists Jaime Kozyra and Leah Fishman, New York-based quintet the Nouvellas came into being in 2007 after the demise of a similar soul group, the Dansettes. Five of the Dansettes' seven members (Kozyra, Fishman, brothers Andrew Pierce on drums and Dennis Pierce on guitar, along with bassist Justin Angelo Morey of the Black Hollies) opted for a more stripped-down and direct soul sound and formed the new group, playing their first...
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Nouvellas, Nouvellas
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