As a Black girl interested in the punk rock, hardcore and rock music scene, I was thrilled when the London duo Nova Twins announced their signing to the emerging rock label, 333 Wreckords Crew. Jason Aalon Butler, lead vocalist of Fever 333 and the label’s founder, announced the signing by saying that “Nova Twins are the future.” I agree. It is rare to see two Black women in the rock scene; and Nova Twins are creating a mark in rock music, a music genre strongly associated with white males.
Nova Twins, composed of bassist Georgia South and singer Amy Love, impressed me with their “Mood Swings” EP. Released in 2017, the EP consists of four songs but for some reason only one song (“Mood Swings”) from the EP is currently available for streaming. I recommend using the Apple Music Preview to play a sample of “Losing Sleep,” “Strange Town” and “Elephant” to get a glimpse of the duo’s music. “Strange Town” is my personal favorite and hoped it would find its way again in the band’s debut album, “Who Are The Girls?”
On Feb. 28, Nova Twins released “Who Are The Girls?” under the 333 Wreckords label. Amy Love and Georgia South said in a joint statement that the album celebrates “those who feel like they don’t fit in! The title is ironic.” There is little representation of women in the music genre and Black rockers rarely make an appearance as performers in big rock music festivals like the Reading and Leeds Festival. In a recent interview with Louder Magazine, the duo shared that during the rock and metal festival Download, they were two of the seven women on the festival’s lineup. “Who Are The Girls?” may as well be the question others might ask the only Black girls attending a rock show and question their presence.
The 10-track debut album quickly establishes the band in the rock scene and listeners understand why Heavy Music Awards recently nominated Nova Twins for the Best UK Breakthrough Band. The intro track, “Vortex,” starts with Amy Love whispering the first verse but immediately switches to Love’s signature yelling and screaming then back to her whispers. Georgia South’s bass helps build Love’s vocals and quickly allows listeners in joining Amy Love yell “who are the girls in town?” The music video was filmed in a desert with the duo wearing orange jumpsuits showcase what to always expect in their music videos: bright eye makeup, bright dyed afro-hair, head banging and their unique wardrobe choices.
“Play Fair” is the second track, and it’s definitely slower than “Vortex” but still manages to stand out because of its riffs. Before Amy Love declares that she never plays fair during the chorus, she makes an odd breathing sound that makes this a favorite for me. In “Taxi,” the duo combines electronic and rock elements to create the perfect soundtrack for an afrofuturism film. In the “Taxi” music video, the duo reference action movies they love like “The Matrix,” “Blade Runner,” “Sin City” and “Kill Bill.”
My personal favorite is the fourth track as it is one of the heaviest songs in the album. “Devil’s Face” immediately starts with Love’s intense screams and is complemented with South’s bass. Released in 2019, “Devil’s Face” deserved to be the lead single because the screaming chorus will immediately hook you to their music. The music video has the duo wearing a red latex outfit with bright red makeup in each frame. All the red and blood reminds me of their 2017 music video for “Mood Swings.” The duo designed the set, wardrobe and were responsible for the hair and makeup for the music video showcasing their DIY skills and fashion sense. For the supernovas, the name for Nova Twins fans, who prefer their heavier music, “Devil’s Face” will definitely be a favorite. “Devil’s Face” is a banger that will encourage mosh pits.
The fifth track, “Not My Day,” is the shortest track on the album but will make you chant the chorus and remind you that sometimes it is okay to have a bad day. The sixth track, “Bullet,” is a feminist anthem that calls men out for catcalling. Amy Love takes a break from the aggressive vocals and whistles throughout the track but is angry at men and their catcalling behaviour. The duo delivers powerful messages during the chorus “I’m not asking for it / I know what you want / I know what you want / You ain’t getting none.” The duo shares an experience all women can relate to and is a powerful rock anthem against street harassment. The duo further shares their identity as Black women in “Bullet” by singing “don’t you ever touch my hair” – an experience all Black women can relate to!
The seventh track, “Lose Your Head,” is familiar to Nova Twin’s listeners as it was released back in 2018. This track is a reminder to sometimes let go, be on the wild side and lose your head. Different from the other songs, the eighth track, “Ivory Tower,” is quiet, spooky and is accompanied by Love’s soft vocals. I visualize a cemetery with zombies during Halloween. This is my least favorite song from the album as there is no yelling, screaming or any aggressive sounds. I find it too soft compared to their other songs, but it does show that Amy Love has the vocal range. For those looking for a calmer sound, “Ivory Tower” will definitely be a favorite.
“Undertaker,” the ninth track, quickly picks up the pace of the album as Amy Love screams “run, run, run / the undertaker’s coming out for blood / they’ll turn the lights out, when they’re done.” “Undertaker” is definitely a banger and has my favorite line “you sold your soul to the skull collector.” I hope “Undertaker” becomes the song that never leaves the setlist and it would be nice to hear Amy Love yell the meow sound she makes live.
The duo closes the album with “Athena,” another impressive song that showcases Love’s dynamic vocals and South’s talent as a bass player. As the closing track, “Athena” displays the band’s talents and like Jason Aalon Butler, I agree that “Nova Twins are the future!”
Throughout the album, listeners are reminded that Nova Twins are the girls in question, pushing boundaries and redefining what it means to be Black and in rock. The London duo releasing a heavy album with aggressive vocals question what constitutes acceptable interests for Black people. When I listen to Nova Twins and see two Black women in a punk rock band, it reminds Black listeners that they belong in the overwhelming white scene. If you love rock bands such as Fever 333, Marmozets, Boston Manor and Yonaka this is definitely the album for you. If you are Black girl searching for a Black-fronted rock band, Nova Twins is the band for you!
Favorite Tracks: “Devil’s Face,” “Undertaker” and “Athena.”
Least Favorite Track: “Ivory Tower.”