Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

Local music tends to roll one of two directions: It either shoots for the moon and adopts a universal, accessible sound (to varying degrees of artistic success), or it turns inward to play only for the local community (to varying degrees of artistic merit).

Denton's Novaak takes the former route on their debut album I Am, You Are, opting for a big, expansive, pop-oriented sound that's inherently made for the masses and not the club down the street. The result is a surprisingly mature and accomplished record from this young duo.

Through songs like the contemplative opener, "You Pressed The Crash Button" to the keyboard heavy "Mr. Memory" to the Beach House-y "With A Stretch," vocalist Jessi James and musical mastermind Blake Panter create a slick, shimmering sonic landscape—one much bigger than the two of them—while hinting at similarly big influences like The Bends-era Radiohead, Blondie and Phoenix.



Another strength of I Am, You Are is how universal it is. Familiar-sounding touch points aside, the songs have something for everyone. There are ballads like the ethereal "Take A Picture," straight-up pop such as "Whatevertown" and tracks like "1 hr" and "Ruby Afternoon," which seem to just beg to be remixed for the dance floor. Anchored always by James' sultry voice and Panter's impressive production, I Am, You Are is an instantly infectious listen that boldly introduces this new dynamic duo.

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.