If I said it once, I’ve said it a million times, there is always a clear authenticity that rises to the surface when an American artist is infatuated by a certain British color of music (and vice versa) and decides to create music in that color, where the result is more often than not full of admiration, respect, attention to detail, passion, and artistry, and Nick Noon’s massive new EP is yet another example of this phenomenon.
Hailing from Nashville, Tennessee, Nick seems to distance himself as far as he can from the usual musical tropes which immediately come to mind when we say Nashville. Explosive guitar solos, Soul-heavy arrangements, and gut-wrenching blues are nowhere in sight, instead we get passionate, grand, yet introspective music that channels classic icons of quintessentially British music, such as Joy Division, Oasis, and Queen, in a short EP that’s dense in talent for arranging, songwriting, and storytelling.
Jam-packed with memorable singing, Nick Noon is certainly a name that will continue to grow with time, his flair for singing with soul and intention, for writing subtle and mature strings, and for brilliant, reflective, and relatable lyricisms are all mainstays throughout this release, coupled with his songwriting talent that results in 4 songs that are miles apart in direction, yet incredibly cohesive is sound and feel are all things that display a capable artist who’s in total control of his artistic craft.
Costumes is hypnotic and driving, in a way punk, calling to mind Joy Division with their sophisticated punk sound. A prominent string section lends this song a cinematic edge, and the horns are there to add drama and panache. The massive roominess, courtesy of an incredibly beautiful production job, and wonderful mastering done by the talented Brian Lucey is an element that effortlessly gives this EP its very special and grandiose feel. When The Chariot Calls is short and charismatic, reminding me of a tighter and less aggressive Kasabian, with its catchy, easy-to-follow progressions, the memorable, nasal singing voice. Warm acoustic guitar sounds beautiful tastefully coupled with dramatic strings, a rich and prominent organ, and a sweet, bright piano riff in the outro. Bring Out The Sunshine is the pairing between Elbow and Queen that I never knew I needed. The simplistic, straightforward melodies, and hypnotic repetition that call to mind outstanding Elbow songs such as The Birds or On A Day Like This is paired with Queen’s grandiose and drama filled choirs harmonies, stadium-sized chants, and syncopated composition where the drums play a pivotal role in controlling the pace. The closer Grant Me Speed has a beautiful Gospel-like choir section in the chorus, and with its melancholic piano against wailing strings, it’s a song that continues to take this album into brand new territories with each new song.
Nick Noon’s A Jejune Affair is professional, artful, cinematic, and effortless. An album by an artist whose confidence and talent are always proudly displayed, and from now, I’ll be on the lookout for more releases from him, with anticipation to see which styles he will explore down the road.