Before Tele Novella was formed recently, lead singer Natalie Gordon was in a band titled Agent Ribbons. Gordon and her band mate at the time, Lauren Hess, met while Gordon was scrolling through the catalogs of music at a local record store in their hometown of Sacramento. Their newly formed friendship and love for music inspired them to set up the band. Once things started to pick up, setting up dates that spanned throughout the Western seaboard, and some other cities, Gordon and Hess enlisted Austin, Texas native Naomi Cherie to play violin.
Soon Agent Ribbons started seeing success come faster than they could ever imagine. The dreamy but eerie guitar play from Gordon, along with the simplistic drumming channeled a following of people who couldn’t stay away from the duo’s haunting mix of garage rock with pop melodies that were heavily influenced with The Velvet Underground and The Shaggs.
When Gordon and Hess added Cherie to the band, they began by buying her plane tickets to fly out to California to perform with them whenever they went out to tour. When Cherie was unable to move to California, along with the costs of getting Cherie to California all the time, Gordon and Hess made the decision to move out to Austin. What was believed to be what was best for the band only ended becoming an upsetting nightmare.
Shortly after Gordon and Hess moved to Austin, Cherie decided to leave the band. On top of that, the momentum and success that Agent Ribbons built by being on the West Coast abruptly came at a standstill when the relocation to Austin was complete.
“It felt that the band should have ended before we moved to Austin,” Gordon disclosed.
However, the duo kept moving forward. In late 2012, Gordon and Hess passed through town and performed a show at South Park Tavern. The duo was touring in support of their latest album at the time Let Them Talk. During our phone conversation, Gordon couldn’t help but gush over how her experience went while visiting the Gem City.
“I really feel in love with that weird little town,” Gordon modestly said. “We had such a great show, and I met a lot of great people there.”
Nights like the one Gordon had in Dayton would be one of the few highlights of that tour. With Cherie leaving, and the unhappiness of moving to Austin looming over the duo, an unfortunate accident in Memphis was the final blow that would eventually end Agent Ribbons.
“We haven’t seen each other since Memphis,” Gordon says. “The whole tour was already so bad. And the accident just completely made everything so much more terrible.”
With Agent Ribbons dissolving, Gordon had a dilemma. She already had booked a showcase at South by Southwest Festival for the upcoming year, and wasn’t going to be able to cancel. Even though she explained to her label at the time what had transpired in Memphis, they still weren’t going to let Gordon cancel. As luck would have it, Gordon was able to throw together a band that included her boyfriend Jason Chronis, drummer Matt Simon, and Sarah La Puerta on keyboards. The group received high praise with their music, and decided to go and record their first EP Cosmic Dial Tone, which was released this past summer.
The newly formed Tele Novella feature Gordon’s alluring vocals that transcended when she was Agent Ribbons, along with Chronis and Simon’s English rock inspiration with their work in Voxtrot. The blend of the two results in a breezy, psychedelic pop sound that easily captures the essence of their influences from the great bands Os Mutantes and Belle and Sebastian. “Trouble In Paradise”, and “Umbrella at the Station” accentuate their progressing sound. As soon as this tour run is complete, Tele Novella will be headed into the studio to work on their first full length LP.
The run with Agent Ribbons will always be special for Gordon. As she looks back, she is introspective about how her time with Hess and Cherie helped mold her into being a better musician.
“I wished it hadn’t ended the way that it did. We had a seven-year run, and it blows my mind on how much I learned. Several European tours, and slumming it really hard, and also living high off the horse with these bigger bands-I feel like I just got this huge wide spectrum of experience.”
For us here in Dayton-we are very fortunate that one of the experiences was our little town.
Luckily for Gordon, she will have the opportunity to renew those feelings while being with Tele Novella.
Tele Novella will be performing at Blind Bob’s tonight with Dear Fawn, and Tree No Leaves. Doors open at 9pm. $5 cover and 21+. To hear more of Tele Novella, click onto their website: http://telenovella.bandcamp.com/.