Emerging into the rock world more than half a decade ago with their 2016 self-titled debut EP, it’s taken almost certainly too long for Nova Twins to cross into something resembling wider recognition. 2020 LP ‘Who Are The Girls?’ was critically well-received but didn’t touch the sides of the charts, while it took a pandemic for Londoners Amy Love and Georgia South to emerge out the other side in possession of the sort of sizeable support tours that their brand of incendiary, arena-worthy riffs clearly were always built for.
The duo’s entire existence so far has, it seems, been less an exercise in ticking boxes than of finding ways to join the dots. With precious few successful Black female rock musicians given a platform before them, they’ve created their own route through the industry: one that’s defied pigeonholing by aligning themselves not with a scene or a sound, but more an attitude. In recent years, they’ve toured with Black Honey, Yungblud and Bring Me The Horizon among others – all sonically miles from each other, but united in a sense of outsiderdom and giving a voice to their tribe. And it’s this quality that second album ‘Supernova’ grabs by the balls and supercharges to a level that should make Nova Twins an unignorable force from hereon in.
From the thundering intro of ‘Power’’s blistering drums and beamed-in, robotic commands, there’s an unashamed directness to everything Nova Twins are doing here. “Supernova, own your power/ Supernova, you are power,” goes its opening salvo, and if there’s often satisfaction in nuance, then sometimes, such as this, a situation demands the opposite.
Much like IDLES at their rallying, no-nonsense finest, Nova Twins are at their best when they’re not beating around the bush. Take recent single and album highlight ‘Cleopatra’, in which they celebrate Black women throughout history in the most fierce, incendiary way possible (“They say I’m scary, I’m not ladylike, I act like a queen/ And I’ll be wearing the crown whilst I’ll be kissing my teeth”). A rallying battle cry, it’s one facet of a record that wears its passions, perversions and personality with total pride. On the heavy-riffing throb of ‘Fire & Ice’, Love declares herself “the villain that you like/ I’m just the savage type” like a Download-friendly Billie Eilish; the hip hop-indebted ‘Puzzles’ meanwhile decides “he only gets a call back if he’s good at giving head”. There’s no concession to ‘playing nice’ at any point, and ‘Supernova’ is all the better for it.
Throughout the record, Nova Twins deploy their heaviness like an atom bomb – taking the creeping verses of ‘K.M.B’ and then crashlanding in with a chorus so gnarly it should come with a health warning, or offsetting Love’s treated, almost Grimes-esque vocal on ‘A Dark Place For Somewhere Beautiful’ with a crunching bass line that fizzles with menace. These are indisputably hard-riffing tracks, but ones that play with the form, injecting cheeky winks and sassy kiss-offs at every point – a recipe that should see them not only earn the plaudits of the rock world but slink effortlessly into whichever realms they want to pursue. From whichever direction you look at it, ‘Supernova’ is a triumph.