Eliza Shillieto, the singer-songwriter known by her artist name Eliza Novella, is an old soul. This trait not only influenced her decision to move from Boston to Charleston in 2020 (she loves old buildings and cobblestone streets), but it also plays a key role in the music she creates.
“I coined this phrase very recently, but I think it really fits: vintage indie-pop,” Novella said of her melodic stylings. Her voice is soulful yet clear. It could sound just as at home on an old jazz record as it does with her preferred sonic backdrop of hazy guitar. She began to hone this style in 2018, when she recorded her first album, Wavy Sounds.
“I was always playing acoustic guitar and playing nice little singer-songwriter-y things, and then I moved down to Florida,” she said. “I was really into Mac Demarco at the time, and I bought an electric guitar and I just couldn’t stop playing it. This very jazzy, moody guitar feels like me.”
With new music releases on the horizon, she hopes to follow the same inspiration yet create a more full-bodied sound. “Red and Blue,” a track Novella recorded in New York City in 2019, will be rereleased as a single at the end of the month. “The production value is a little more layered: backing band, more instruments,” she said.
Initially released only on YouTube, Novella reckoned “Red and Blue” deserved a more dramatic release. She will pair the track with her very first music video — shot on Morris Island by local photographer and singer-songwriter Taylor Czerwinski with editing and coloring contributed by local musician Corey Campbell of Babe Club.
“I love film and I’m such a color and visual person and it’s a whole new avenue and medium that I’ve never delved into,” Novella said.
Lyrically, “Red and Blue” tells the story of family members not approving of a love interest. Though Novella’s writing is largely a narrative, the video takes a more interpretative route, exploring symbolism through color and carefully chosen costumes.
“It’s an internal battle of trying to decide whether or not you want to truly act out on your authentic self and be honest, or if you want to be what is expected of you,” Novella said.
The “Red and Blue” video release party will take place at Folly Beach bar and restaurant Chico Feo on May 30. Novella will be jamming with Katie Lyon and other featured artists as they celebrate the song. “I really love bringing people together,” Novella said. “I think this means I’m going to be putting out more music videos, because this has been such a fun process.”
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