Noah Kahan joins Hanuman Welch on ALT CTRL Radio on Apple Music 1 to talk about finding a folkier sound on his new album ‘Stick Season,’ the meaning behind the hit title track, finding inspiration in isolation and the new boygenius album..
Noah Kahan Tells Apple Music About The New boygenius Album…
Yeah. What's really cool is that a lot of times being a songwriter for your own artist project and getting together with other songwriters, it actually doesn't create amazing music. A lot of times it feels like people are not cohesive. It feels like three separate projects working on one song or whatever. But I feel like they sound like their music is one living organism that sounds very uniquely them but also all three of them at the same time, which is really cool. And I really appreciate that about them. Because I can see a different side of their songwriting and their artistry. Yeah, and I love all the press. It looks so natural, and they just look like they're having fun and like doing it, which is cool, which we all like to see. I think people's thermometer for PR BS is pretty in tune right now, and it seems very genuine what's coming from them, and I really love that.
Noah Kahan Tells Apple Music About The Meaning Behind His Hit Song “Stick Season”…
Yeah, every year growing up, my entire family would really, really dread winter coming. And we were all like, "Why do we always feel like... winter's making us all feel like shitty? I can't believe winter is..." Really, we were all just super depressed. But winter was always scary for me. I had the worst times in my childhood, in my life, in the winter times. It was always something that was foreboding and stick season in that time between the beautiful, beautiful, stunning autumn in Vermont and New Hampshire became this cold, gray, empty place in November and December. When I was a little kid I never heard the term, but when we moved back to Vermont and my parents would've friends over who would say, "Oh, a stick season's coming on; it's almost stick season." And it always stuck with me. I was glad I finally had a name for the time of year that really created so much anxiety and dread in me, and I think it's also an exclusive colloquialism to Vermont, which was an obvious choice for me as a title because I wanted this song to be a real reflection of what life is like in Vermont and that's part of it. So it was a really cool term that described what I wanted the record to feel like.
Noah Kahan Talks To Apple Music About How Finding a Folkier Sound On His New Album “Stick Season”…
I think I didn't even realize I was writing an album until about halfway through. I started writing these little more folky songs just because I wanted a break from a lot of the more pop oriented songwriting sessions I was doing and recording sessions I was doing at the time. And so they were really just little pieces of therapy for me. After a session, I go back and write songs and I would hold them really close. And for that reason, I loved them. And I was like, "I want to put these out someday." And it wasn't until I wrote the song Stick Season after a session that I realized I was making an album. And I looked back at the rest of the tunes and they all fit this theme about home and about isolation. And once I had three or four songs that I thought could make up an album, telling the rest of the story became very natural and a really cool experience and a really focused experience. So I did feel more focused and just gratified the songwriting that I had before in my music. It let me be less concerned about what I was trying to say. I think a lot of times a lot of albums get made because there's a lot of songs and a lot of times they don't all fit together into what I think an album should be, which is it should have some kind of narrative or at least some kind of through line. And I was really happy to have that narrative through line figured out early on being Vermont and New England and talking about my childhood and my home and isolation, that those things were present before I finished, which was really nice to help guide the whole process, which was really helpful.
Noah Kahan Talks To Apple Music About How Isolation Helped Inspire His New Album….
When I was living at home in Vermont after high school, and then right before the pandemic, and then right afterwards, I was super, super lonely, obviously, but also just kind of socially not developed, not developing. And I was really stagnant for a long time, and I didn't realize how painful that feeling was. And then I thought, "Man, I'm alone and that's why I'm feeling all these terrible things." And I moved to New York City and I felt just as alone in New York City as I had in Vermont. And I was like, "There's people everywhere and I don't know what's going on and why I feel this way."
And no one cares! And I was like, "This is just as lonely, but in a different, even worse way. It's like having ghosts around you that you could reach out and touch, but then you can't recognize you're there." And I almost preferred the justified loneliness of being on 130 acres of nothing and howling winds 'cause at least I had an excuse for why I felt like shit. And so I realized that what was going on was a lot of internal things that I needed to work out, a lot of problems that I had to work on in therapy and also discover through writing some of the songs about this stuff. I had spent all this time alone in Stratford and New York making music. And I hadn't really written about how alone I felt. I was always trying to find something catchy or compelling that maybe wasn't real. And finally when I started singing about being alone and being out in Vermont is when I felt like I could come to terms with some of those things.