Heather Nova (born Heather Allison Frith on July 6, 1967) was born on the Atlantic isle of Bermuda. She is a pop/rock guitarist and singer.
The Friths didn't stay in Bermuda long after Heather's birth, as shortly afterwards they moved onto a houseboat and spent all of the 1970s and half of the 80s aboard it, coming and going as they pleased up and down and across the Atlantic and Caribbean waters and coasts.
Spirit In You
Heather started playing guitar around 1982 and kept at it until she disembarked from the family houseboat in 1987 and moved to Rhode Island to attend the Rhode Island School of Performing Arts, where she majored in film. However she eventually dropped out to concentrate on her songwriting and on playing gigs. Over the course of the 80s she became quite adept at playing the guitar and singing at the same time, though an extreme shyness kept her from playing out very often, as she couldn't play with her eyes open if she were playing for a crowd. Given that you may have seen any number of her videos or the posters that would advertise her albums in the late 90s, she has gotten over it, but is still somewhat timid, which in my opinion is part of her alluring mystique.
By the end of the 1980s, Heather had moved to London, England, a place she still called home for much of the 1990s before moving back to Bermuda in 2002. Emigration to the UK was not a problem due to the fact that Bermuda is a British colony and citizenship between the two is universal. In 1990, she released her first recording, a self-titled EP. She had not yet changed her name so it was released as Heather Frith. The name change came a year or so later after several gigs in the Netherlands, where, after finding out that the Dutch have an awfully hard time pronouncing "Frith," she thought up a name that would be easily pronouncable in every European language, "Nova," her Canadian mother's maiden name.
The new name debuted in 1993 as she released her first full album, Glow Stars. It was critically acclaimed and adored by her already growing legion of fans. The success of the album lead her to record and release her first live album, Blow, the same year. She took it in stride and began touring Europe to support the album. A year later in 1994 she released what many consider to be her finest outing to date, the emotional yet jagged album Oyster. Another live album, Live from the Milky Way, was released in 1995, and after its release she toured for nearly three years straight, twice joining Sarah McLachlan and company on the North American Lilith Fair, which has always touted itself as an all-female-performer festival. The long-awaited followup to Oyster was released in 1998, entitled Siren, which is a rather apt title; most devoted fans of Heather Nova find her to be exactly that.
After the release of Siren, Heather took a well-deserved break while various television shows and film soundtracks licensed some of her songs, and her record company (Sony) released various singles from the album, which received only moderate play on MTV2 and on mainstream radio, although she was a darling of college radio. Also during this time, she recorded a rendition of the oft-covered Gloomy Sunday, for the German WWII drama Ein Lied von Liebe und Tod (the International release title of this film was Gloomy Sunday).
Blood of Me
Over the years, Heather has written and veritably stockpiled several dozen alarmingly good songs, so putting together an album became more an exercise in selection than actual all-night songwriting sessions. Half the songs on Siren had been written during the Oyster sessions and were frequently played live prior to being committed to a studio session, and most of the songs for 2001's South were written during the lazy days of 1999-2000 while she was on hiatus from touring. With the release of South, she thrust herself back into the international spotlight with an appearance on the soundtrack for the John Cusack movie Serendipity, a new live album entitled Wonderlust, a couple of music videos, and a collaberation with Swedish technopop band Eskobar, for a song called Someone New, which also gave birth to a video that proved so popular that it was actually played primarily on MTV, not MTV2, if that says anything about the wonder and strength of it. In late 2003 came Storm, Heather's sixth full-length album, on the WEA imprint. Redbird followed it in late 2005.
I'm The Girl
Heather is of the type of musician that certain types of people really find extraordinarily brilliant and thus, she has an extremely dedicated base of fans who think she's the greatest thing since sliced Beatles. At the risk of seeming subjective, I adore Heather and her music and I highly recommend picking up any one of her recordings.
Heather and her longtime boyfriend/studio producer Felix Tod did what heterosexual women and men do and, in early 2004, had a baby boy named Sebastian.
1990 Heather Frith
1993 Glow Stars
-- LP (live in London, UK)
1993 Spirit In You
1994 Walk This World
1995 Live from the Milky Way
-- EP (live in Amsterdam, Netherlands)
1995 Maybe An Angel
1996 Truth & Bone
1997 The First Recording
-- EP (anthology of early work)
1998 London Rain (Nothing Heals Me Like You Do)
1998 Heart & Shoulder
1999 I'm The Girl
1999 Gloomy Sunday
-- LP (live across Europe)
2001 I'm No Angel (Pt. 1)
2001 I'm No Angel (Pt. 2)
2002 Someone New
-- single (with Eskobar
2002 Virus of the Mind (Pt. 1)
2002 Virus of the Mind (Pt. 2)
2003 River of Life
-- single (released as a single from the Redbird album, but it first appeared on the European version of South in 2001)
2005 Together As One
-- benefit EP for the Bermuda Sloop Foundation
2005 Live at the Union Chapel
2006 The Sorrowjoy
-- spoken word compilation
-- single (with ATB
2008 The Jasmine Flower
2011 300 Days At Sea
2013 Save A Little Piece of Tomorrow
2015 Sea Glass
2015 The Way It Feels
1 Later re-released the same year as These Walls and re-released again some years later as The First Recording
A large majority of the singles were released only in the UK or Germany. Very few of them saw proper release in the States.
1996 The Craft - soundtrack - (song I Have the Touch)
1996 The Crow: City of Angels - soundtrack - (song Believe in Angels, with Graeme Revell)
1998 Felicity - TV soundtrack - (song London Rain)
1998 Dawson's Creek - TV soundtrack - (song London Rain)
1999 Burning London: A Tribute to The Clash - compilation - (song Straight to Hell, with Moby)
2001 Serendipity - soundtrack - (song Like Lovers Do)
2002 I Am Sam - soundtrack - (song We Can Work It Out)
1995 Like a Hurricane (Neil Young)
1995 I'm On Fire (Bruce Springsteen)
1996 I Have the Touch (Peter Gabriel)
1998 The Ship Song (Nick Cave)
1999 Straight to Hell (The Clash) (w/ Moby)
1999 Gloomy Sunday (Billie Holiday)
2001 Many Rivers to Cross (Jimmy Cliff)
2002 We Can Work It Out (The Beatles)
2000 Love Will Find You (guest vocals on the ATB album Two Worlds (2000))
2000 Feel You Like a River (guest vocals on the ATB album Two Worlds (2000))
Walk This World
Maybe An Angel
Heart & Shoulder
Gloomy Sunday (intercut with scenes from the film Ein Lied von Liebe und Tod)
I'm No Angel
Someone New (with Eskobar)
Virus of the Mind
Heather's backing band has been as varied as it has been fulsome. It has thus far consisted of the following musicians: Paul Sandone (bass guitar), Youth (of Killing Joke fame, bass guitar), Nikolaj Juel (guitars, programming), Marcus Cliffe (bass guitar), Guy Fletcher (Hammond organ, piano, Wurlizter, Mellotron, tamboura, Hawaiian lap guitar), Nadia Lanman (cello), Danny Cummings (drums), Satin Singh (drums), Neil Taylor (guitars), David Ayers (guitars), John Moore (singing saw), Felix Tod (studio producer and Heather's longtime SO), Jason Mayo (programming), Will Malone (strings), Anne Dudley (strings), and additionally, Heather also plays the violin on some tracks.
Raggae musician Mishka is Heather's biological brother.