Respect the opening act of a wildly hyped sold-out show. This past Saturday, Sarah Lipstate (aka Noveller) was tasked with captivating a restless audience before the stunning spectacle that was St. Vincent’s set emerged. A solo instrumental performer, she was a human alone on the Riviera stage—her guitar and pedal board providing the only accompaniment—as she performed tracks from her recent No Dreams.
Back in December, the Reader‘s Peter Margasak previewed a show Lipstate was playing at Schubas and described the record as a “collection of shimmering instrumentals built from sustained tones—sometimes produced by meticulously harnessed feedback, sometimes with the bowing of her electric guitar—that arrive as gently rolling, ambient tracks embedded with rich detail.” “Soundscape” is a pretty abused word—I’m as guilty as anyone of using it—but Lipstate very much builds environments of sound, detailed in both their construction and execution. Today’s 12 O’Clock Track is the aforementioned album’s title track, initially complemented by menacing darts of feedback before they later form into a single mass—eventually swallowing whole the long, layered guitar tones.