Tele Novella

House of Souls (Yellow Year)

Texas Platters

Tele Novella drapes itself in aesthetic, their debut LP House of Souls swooning with a throwback Sixties psych-pop that nevertheless sounds fresh and authentic. Beginning with opener "Sacramento," the Austin quartet paints a world that's eerie, intoxicating, and both visually and sonically vibrant. Former Voxtrot rhythm section Jason Chronis and Matt Simon hold down a macabre low end as Natalie Ribbons' breathless and reverbed vocals drift dreamy melodies against Sarah La Puerta's kaleidoscopic keyboards. The resultant gypsy-pop floats "Waiting on an Answer" lightly and explodes into a Belle & Sebastian punch on lead single "Heavy Balloon." Ribbons' voice tinges an underlying mixture of delight and anxiety, an observational awe and existential urgency that unfolds somewhere between Neko Case and Nancy Sinatra. Warping arrangements keep songs like "Bull Sees Red" and "Fruits of Misery" winding with mystery. The dark burn in "Dead Canary" and surf rock riff and yelp on "Even Steven" lay out a moody swagger contrasting the crooning harmonies of "The Snake That Swallowed the Elephant." Tele Novella spin their own bizarre world, but House of Souls beckons a unique pop glow.


The 2021-2022 Austin Music Awards Music Poll is underway. Vote now for your favorite bands, venues, and music until January 31.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Tele Novella
Seven the Hard Way
Tele Novella
Picks 2 Click: Local septet of acts braces for SXSW

Neph Basedow, March 4, 2016

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
X: The Godless Void and Other Stories (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Feb. 21, 2020

Texas Platters
Daniel Johnston
Chicago 2017 (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Feb. 21, 2020

More by Doug Freeman
Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week
Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week
Silvana Estrada, Rochelle & the Sidewinders, Loteria, Chili Cold Blood, Shemekia Copeland, and more live shows

Jan. 28, 2022

What We're Listening To Right Now
What We're Listening To Right Now
Kydd Jones, Ingebrigt Håker Flaten, Rose Sinclair, Carson McHone, and Berkshire Hounds

Jan. 21, 2022


Tele Novella

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Behind the scenes at The Austin Chronicle

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle