Novella Spielman: The Real G.O.A.T.


Boulder High sophomore Novella Spielman sings an original song in front of a captivated group of listeners at the Laughing Goat.

On Feb. 24 from 8-9:30pm, Novella Spielman (sophomore) performed a solo set in the cozy interior of The Laughing Goat coffee shop on Pearl Street. No backing band, no special tricks—it was just her and her guitar. Teens and adults filled the audience, captivated throughout her folk-rock set. Junior Lauren Leland said, “I had such a wonderful time at her performance. She has such a great stage presence and a beautiful voice.” It’s not easy to play the guitar and sing at the same time, but Novella makes it look effortless. Throughout the performance, her voice was angelic, calm and gracefully resolute. 

Even though she’s only fifteen, Spielman has written a large collection of original music. When asked about the process for creating her songs, Novella explains, “I draw inspiration from various elements within my life — personal experiences, observations, fragmented thoughts and the music I listen to. Inspiration strikes at unexpected moments. It can’t be forced. If a melody starts spinning itself in my head it’s almost like I don’t have a choice; I have to write the song. More than once I’ve just been sitting in class and inspiration strikes and I pull out my notebook or the back of my math homework or a stray sticky note, and start writing.” On the 24th, she performed thirteen of her original songs along with five covers.

Spielman’s songs are memorable not only because of their beautiful melodies but also because of the depth of her lyrics. Spielman paints pictures with her words, describing summer-time, synesthesia, loneliness, leaving middle school, friendship and love, to name a few. She even wrote a couple songs about books she read in her English class, like Siddhartha. “Music is a huge part of my life. It’s an amazing form of expression.” She’s young for the amount of originals she’s written, and yet her music is filled with honesty and wisdom. 

She bravely delves into topics that trouble her, like gun control: “Maybe it’s ‘cause I’m young and I don’t know the things you do/or maybe we’re scared of the ones with the guns/who put metal in our chests while we’re sitting at our desks/you lit a fuse and walked away/and now you’re watching the flames but we’re stuck in the haze.”

Spielman is very reflective and thoughtful, and these qualities shine through in her music. 

She articulates feelings that everyone has felt at some point in life. “He’s got the friends but he feels pretend,” she sings. “She’ll walk away if she’s feeling hurt you see/she feels it all deeply/she don’t want to seem weak.” Here Spielman discusses pushing those away because they’re scared to be vulnerable, a very relatable thing.

Novella Spielman is a natural performer who will no doubt move beyond our local stages. She plans to make some professional recordings in the coming months. As the winner of the Teen Creekfest Singer/Songwriter Competition with live radio appearances on KGNU; a large Instagram and YouTube following; and open mic performances around town at The Attic, Oskar Blues and now The Laughing Goat, she is no doubt a rising star.