The Novel Ideas
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The Novel Ideas

Boston, Massachusetts, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Boston, Massachusetts, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Folk Indie





If there’s one mistake we’ve made here on All Things Go it’s not devoting nearly enough attention to The Novel Ideas. The Boston country outfit’s debut album, Home, was one of our favorite releases of 2012 and left us hungry for more of their pop-tinged folk music. So naturally we are very excited to be premiering a brand new track from the band — “Lost On The Road” — on ATG today.

“Lost On The Road” marks a stronger devotion to Americana than their previous efforts. But while there is very little that is “pop” about this song, it still feels remarkably accessible. Sarah Grella’s vocals shine from the get-go over instrumentals that bring to mind sunny days in the American countryside. Fans of Lord Huron should take note — these guys will become your new favorite band before you know it. Stream “Lost On The Road” below.

Those of you in the Washington area can catch The Novel Ideas at Clementine in Harrisonburg, VA on June 6th and at Hill Country in DC on July 8th. - All Things Go


Homesickness, heartbreak, and longing: The Novel Ideas sing about familiar themes with a particular beauty you don't find just anywhere. The Boston-based quintet, featuring Daniel Radin, Sarah Grella, Danny Hoshino, James Parkington, and Nick Mitchell, combines the best elements of heartfelt songwriting with gorgeous instrumentation. The Novel Ideas released their debut record Home back in 2012 and have since toured the U.S. playing with bands like Lord Huron, Augustines, Caveman, and Little Green Cars. While their folksy sound falls somewhere in between The Head and The Heart and The Avett Brothers, the band has a unique ability to connect with audiences from their deeply personal songs.

We're excited to premiere the band's song "Montana" off of their upcoming 10", which harmonizes love and leaving poetically— we dare you to listen to it and not feel anything. Band members Daniel Radin and Danny Hoshino also took time to speak with us about musical friendship, idolizing The Lone Bellow, and putting on a live show to remember.

FRIENDS FOREVER: Daniel Radin: Danny and I have actually been friends since kindergarten. The rest of us met in Boston and more or less live in the same house outside of Boston. Most of us live together. We all practice there. Actually, just James and I met in college. Sarah we met through Reddit. Nick had just moved from Austin to Boston and was looking for people to collaborate with.

Danny Hoshino: It's been fun.

GENRE STUDIES: Hoshino: I think these days we're going with country-folk or folk-country. I think country-folk has a nicer ring to it.

Radin: Though we are not country folk like the noun. We're going with country-folk. [laughs]

FINDING HOME: Radin: The story that I tell is that I was studying abroad in Chile, and Danny had just graduated from college. He was at home. We were both writing these songs and sending them back and forth to each other, not really thinking too much about them. My songs were about being away from home, and his songs were about coming home.

Hoshino: Yeah, my songs were about coming home and going through a terrible breakup. [laughs]

Radin: When I got back from being abroad, we were like, "We could record these, that could be fun." We ended up meeting Nick, Sarah, and James, who are on the album as well, and it became much more collaborative than we had set out to create.

Hoshino: The project as a whole wasn't that deliberate, but now we've ended up with this band we really feel good about. It's kind of interesting the way it came together.

ON "MONTANA": Radin: I feel like "Montana" is one of the first songs we figured out as a band that wasn't from Home. I remember writing it back and forth with everyone, and it seemed like everyone has their parts right on. Everyone brought their parts to the song. It was one of those songs that was collaboratively written. It's exciting for people to hear "Montana" and "Lost On The Road" because Home was mainly written by Danny and myself. These songs are much more of a band effort, which is exciting.

Hoshino: To that point, I think that song was an idea that had been kicking around since before Home even came out. Certain elements you had already written. It didn't really jell until you showed it around and had everyone bring their pieces to it. It really solidified the composition.

Radin: The song is about a friend of mine who was taking a trip to Montana, and when I wrote it, I was pretty hung up on her. Now, we're totally cool. She hasn't heard the song, so I'm curious to know what she thinks when she hears it. She was going to see a dude in Montana, who I didn't think was maybe the best fit. I don't think I'd describe it as bitter.

Hoshino: It's raw!

Radin: It's raw! [laughs]

LOVE AND BREAKUP SONGS: Hoshino: All three of the songwriters have similar philosophies. We like to write songs about things that are true. Regardless of what we experience, we're pulling from things that are translated and conveyed. They're things we really believe.

Radin: This makes them hard to sing sometimes.

Hoshino: Obviously a lot of them are breakup songs or heartbreak songs, but I really love the idea of people listening to our music and other people's music and creating their own story about what they think the song is about. If they come up with something that is completely different than what it was written about, and it resonates with them, I think that's a really neat idea. I would hope people would do that with our music as well.

Radin: I love when people tweet at us or talk to us at a show and say "I feel like this song was written for me." I know people say that about "News" from Home a lot, and it's really cool to hear that.

LIVE MUSIC RULES: Radin: I guess I would say since Home at this point is not really representative of our live performance, I think it was written as an album and not for a band, I think we've taken Home and made it more interactive than listening to Spotify, which I definitely enjoy. Danny, what do you think?

Hoshino: To answer your question straight up, at this point our live set has trumped what we have released. We feed off the live energy of our performance. We've created a sound and a style of a performance where we've found we can connect with people—even people who have never heard our music before and are learning about us for the first time. We can connect with them and resonate with them on a somewhat deep level, it seems. For me, I've been in a lot of bands, and this is the first time that's really happened. It's really special.

NEW MUSIC: Radin: We have a lot of new songs written. We're right now figuring out where we're going to record and who we're going to work with. Realistically our record will probably come out next year. We're trying not to rush things and figure out a producer and if we're going to release on a label or not.

THE INFLUENCE OF THE LONE BELLOW: Radin: Most of the bands that I would love to perform with I feel like are so much better than us that I would be scared to play with them. Danny, Sarah, and I went to see The Lone Bellow in Boston. It was such an amazing show. I was like, it would be so cool to meet them, open for them and play for them.

Hoshino: It was one of those live shows that was life-altering. I don't know if I would go as far as to say it was one of the best shows I've ever seen, but it was uniquely awe-inspiring how tight they were. It was a big moment for the three of us. It was great seeing what was possible in commanding a performance. It was really special. That's definitely on the dream list.


"The Novel Ideas – Home"

In early 2012, Daniel Radin (one of the masterminds behind electro-indie outfit Magic Man) jumped back into the studio with The Novel Ideas to record their third effort, Home. Hot off the wild success of their Kickstarter campaign, the foursome officially released the album back in April. Needless to say, the investment by the backers was well worth it, as the album stands as one of the most varied, vibrant records of the year.

Having only heard Daniel’s work in Magic Man, Home shines light on a new dimension of his sincere brand of songwriting. Most of the time, the album treads rather lightly, but carries with it an air of anti-pretension, always remaining accessible while also retaining its depth. The magnificent vocal work (both by Dan and many other bandmates) seems effortless in its presentation, ranging from soft and soothing to urgent and concerted all without seeming contrived.

Though the band abides in well-worn indie-rock territory, it by no means fails to present its own meaningful perspective on it. While leaning toward the pop end of things, Home puts the band’s best foot forward, with some strong lyrical and compositional sensibilities. Subtle use of the slide guitar, banjo and a small brass section widens the breadth of the album; helping to fabricate the back-country, rural atmosphere that is so succinctly described in its title.

The album generates a yearning for the familiar. It very accurately transcribes into music the unavoidable homesickness felt in an unknown place. In Home, The Novel Ideas has created a testament to this epiphanic emotion and wrapped it into a digestible nine-track beauty. Their unique blend of fast and slow, upbeat and down, makes for a distinctly memorable listen, reinforcing the notion that this is an album, not a slapped-together group of tracks. And although certain songs might sound similar to each other, the band does a good job of pacing the album.

I look forward to not only more music from the band in the future, but also to the exploring of their back-catalog. From the sounds of it, this just might be the perfect time to jump on The Novel Ideas train. I can’t wait to see what their next stop will be. - Bandcamp's Best

"Sonicbids Shoutout"

Listening to The Novel Ideas is a really, really good idea. These folk rockers are local Bostonians with a knack for creating genuine, heartfelt tunes. The harmonies are solid, the lyrics are thoughtful, and the musicianship is apparent. No wonder they were booked for RLife LIVE: The Novel Ideas is a band that you'd be extremely happy to hear if you walk into the lobby of a Renaissance Hotel. - Sonicbids

"Live Review | Dark Dark Dark + Emily Wells + The Novel Ideas at Great Scott"

Starting the evening was folk / pop locals The Novel Ideas, who for me turned my head, with their carefully crafted folk / pop songs, who seemed to delight the audience as well. If you haven’t gotten a chance, give these guys a listen, their entire album is available on their website for free. - Music Savage

"The Novel Ideas"

I’ll make an educated guess that not too many of you have heard of these guys. The Novel Ideas, usually described as a folk rock outfit, hail from the Boston area, and they just released their simply wonderful third album, Home. While some of the higher tempo material of previous work is absent, Home certainly doesn’t lack for emotional tenor. There’s a bizarre and comforting familiarity to their music. In fact, I hadn’t listened to these folks for a while, but my first listen through this album felt like being reunited with an old friend. It takes a very special touch to convey something like that through song.

Their music draws on love, distance, heartbreak, reverie, nostalgia, and as their name suggests, allusions to literary works (my favorite of which is a song dedicated to the contents of The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón) to weave an ongoing narrative. It seems nearly cliche to say this about a band at this point, but their music truly does evoke a whole assortment of emotions. They’ve described their own sound as an attempt to capture the feeling of “the ambiguous hours between night and morning,” and while this may seem like just a bit of silly rhetoric, they manage to absolutely nail it. I’ve been following these guys since my sophomore year of high school, and years later, they’re probably the only band that I still listen to from that period of time. It’s a testament to just how good all of the facets of their sound are.

The icing on the cake with this group is that you can download all of their music (three full albums and a collection of delightful demos recorded last summer) for free right this second on their website. You can also pay what you want for it, which is a fantastic way to support these guys. CDs are available for cheap as well. I know that I’m here every Tuesday recommending stuff to check out, but this week I’m putting extra emphasis on it. If you want to listen to more before you commit to snagging some of their music, they maintain a healthy Bandcamp presence with most of their releases.

Now I’ve been walking home nearly every night.
And here’s to everyone I ever loved but had to leave behind
For the one thing I can’t find, though I’ve been looking half my life.
And it’s damn hard to explain, but I will try it if you like…
As always, enjoy! - Soundboard


Lost on the Road (10" Single) - 2014
A. Lost on the Road
B. Montana

Home - 2012
1. The Blue Between Us
2. Back and Forth
3. Saint Marie
4. Lonesome George
5. Running Speed
6. Not Enough
7. Promise
8. Heart of Stone
9. News



The Novel Ideas are a country folk quintet of friends from the great state of Massachusetts. Featuring the voices of three different songwriters, The Novel Ideas create a blend of pastoral, harmony driven, and plaintive Americana. They spent the past year playing shows in support of their debut album, "Home" and have been featured in Billboard Magazine, Interview Magazine, and a myriad of the other publications applauding their stellar melodies. They've shared the stage with acts such as Lord Huron, Caveman, and Little Green Cars.

Daniel - Guitar/Vocals
Sarah - Vocals
Danny - Pedal Steel/Guitar/Vocals
James - Bass/Backing Vocals
Nick - Drums

Band Members