Piano Noir

At Newvelle, our members are fascinated with the larger canvas that vinyl music affords--the depth of a groove, the breadth of a sound wave, the frame of a photograph, the stroke of a paintbrush, the expanse of a story.

Shot by Isaac Gillespie, Edited by Austin Lynch

Newvelle Records is proud to present “Piano Noir” an album written and recorded to illustrate and accompany a brand new Douglas Kennedy short story.

Piano Noir cover

Newvelle cofounder, Elan Mehler, reached out to Douglas after reading this New York Times Profile. Douglas responded almost immediately and by the end of the week, after a quick breakfast meeting, Douglas agreed to write an original work for Newvelle. When Newvelle cofounder Jean-Christophe Morisseau read the resulting story he knew that this piece required its own frame of original compositions… Flash forward ten months and Elan brought a stellar band to our regular studio in the Lower East Side to record an original set of music inspired by the story, featuring Michael Blake, Jason Palmer, Simón Willson and Dor Herskovits. With artwork designed by our Season 3 collaborators Case Simmons and Austin Lynch, we are very excited to present this collaboration to the world.

Jason Palmer

Elan Mehler

Piano Noir, by Douglas Kennedy

“She was a bike messenger. I met her because, on that December night, it was she who delivered weed to my apartment. Her name was Shelley. A name which the ageing hipster in me always responded to, as it conjured up an earlier girlfriend who shared the same faux-poetic name. I met the first Shelley around the time we were about to kick Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait. She dressed in long-flowing diaphanous skirts and India-pilgrimage white linen shirts. She dreamed of being an ‘abstract expressionist choreographer’ - whatever that was - and fulfilled all those longings I had back then for the ethereal bohemian girl of my dreams. Last I heard she was a divorced accountant living in that capital of depressed mundanity: Hartford, Connecticut. Such is the way of life when you decide you have no choice but to play the American conformist game.

I should talk. Once upon a time I was going to play jazz piano and become the next Bill Evans...”

Michael Mayo

Simón Willson