Nova, an obscure funk-disco outfit from Honolulu, 1980.

Nova: Explosive Feel Good Music

I’ve made friends with a handful of local collectors in Hawaii, relationships that continue to prove beneficial to my soul, which craves feel good music every waking moment. I get together with my vinyl collecting friends as often as possible to exchange stories about our finds in the field.

But we don’t just share stories, we also share music with each other. It’s the aloha spirit. Sharing music bring forgotten albums back to life, keeps the vibrations going. It’s also why I’m writing this post.

One morning I sat down for coffee at Fresh Café with two of the most dedicated record hounds I know. One of the guys had a framed vintage poster from a Cecilio & Kapono concert. Very cool! The other guy pulled out something even more radical—an unknown LP by a local band called Nova.

Nova, an obscure funk-disco outfit from Honolulu, 1980.

Nova, an obscure funk-disco outfit from Honolulu, 1980.

The Nova artwork hits all the sweet spots of a solid, obscure disco-funk record: black guys with afros, swirls of stardust and explosive cosmic energy, guys grooving with button-down shirts wide open. The liner notes stroked my curiosity even further: all original compositions, song titles like “Get Up And Dance” and “I Feel Like Getting Down”, a local-sounding private label called Awrite!, staple instruments like trumpet and sax and flute and keyboards.

Where the hell did this record come from?

I gratefully borrowed this record from my friend (the LP was in pristine condition) and quickly found out how fitting the name “Nova” really is.

no·va: A star showing a sudden large increase in brightness and then slowly returning to its original state.

There couldn’t have been a better name for this band. Lead by keyboardist Checo Tohomoso, Nova bursts with power and positivity on every track.

“Can We Do It Good” is a shining example of Nova’s explosive, funky feel good music:

Read my interview with bandleader Checo Tohomoso.

One thought on “Nova: Explosive Feel Good Music

  1. Glenn Powell says:

    I stopped by a local ‘Half Price Books’ today to pick up a book they were holding for me while my son was looking thru the vinyl record section. I mentioned to him how cool it would be to find a Nova album here which prompted me to Google ‘Hawaiian band Nova’ which led me to you.

    Whenever I’m at a place where they have old vinyls I look for Nova. My name is Glenn and I’m the trumpet player from that album. How cool to see it on your site.

    Thanks so much!

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