E.P. Review: Noah Clouds-Love Is Not Enough

TRACK REVIEW:

 

Noah Clouds

 

 

Love Is Not Enough

 

9.6/10.0

 

Love Is Not Enough is available at:

https://noahclouds.bandcamp.com/album/love-is-not-enough-ep

RELEASED:
November 20th, 2015

GENRES:
Acoustic-Folk; Americana

ORIGIN:

York, U.K.

TRACK LISTING:

Love Is Not Enough9.7

Sunlight9.5

Lost in Barcelona9.6

The Railway Line9.5

The Magnificence of Livin’ Wild & Free9.7

She’s a Writer9.5

DOWNLOAD:

Love Is Not Enough; Lost in Barcelona; The Magnificence of Livin’ Wild & Free

STANDOUT TRACK:

The Magnificence of Livin’ Wild & Free

 

Banjo By Tom Reeve | Percussion By Isaac McInnis | Lead Guitar By Tom Reeve (6)

 

All Songs Written & Performed By Noah Clouds 2015 © & ℗.
Produced By Isaac McInnis | Recorded, Mixed & Engineered By Isacc McInnis @ Crooked Room Studio | Artwork by Noah Clouds

____________________________________

AS this week has been a rather varied one…

I am not surprised to see another unique and different artist come under the radar.  When it comes to my featured act, his music has quite an interesting backstory.  Before I come to him (Garry William Beanland), I wanted to discuss various genres- particularly Folk, Americana and Acoustic- in addition to what inspires musicians to play; plus the variety of British music in the underground scene of 2015.  When musicians embark upon their career, they have to choose what sounds they are going to pursue.  It is always a hard decision to make and exactly what the music will possess.  A lot of musicians look at the mainstream when it comes to their inspiration and direction.  If you are a band then the Alternative/Rock side of things is most appealing.  Most bands tend to play the heavy side of things- it can be quite narrow when it comes to the band market- and it is rare to find too many bands that really surprise and come up with some unique.  That said- even if you do play within those genres- there is still a lot of potential to do something a little fresh and original.  I am perhaps getting jaded when it comes to the bands in general.  Having heard too many sound-alike and uninspiring types- a couple of reviews this week are going to change that- the solo market is always more interesting when it comes to diversity.  I have scolded some solo acts who seem intent on putting the listener into an undead state.  Too many guitar-wielding artists are compounded to playing the dullest and insipid music known to man- like it is some sort of competition!  Whether you have a heart of gold or a cynical outer shell; the music always has to appeal to the audience and possess something appealing and interesting.  I know that is quite an ask (in all seriousness).  If you are a solo artist coming through then you have no other bodies to help create the sounds.  That leaves you with quite a predicament.  If you want to create music that is passionate, different and colourful then you have a number of options.  You either focus on the lyrics and subjects to ensure they are varied and not predictable- stray away from love and heartache when necessary- or you do something different with the compositions.  Even if you are an Acoustic/Folk artist then you can still make your music sound fresh and alive.  Everyone from Neil Young, Nick Drake to Bob Dylan have shown how fascinating and compelling the genres can be.  Other artists (solo artists) either add electronics and Pop sounds or goes a bit heavier.  That all depends on your musical tastes and abilities.  If you go heavier- into Rock territory and the like- then you will need a band and other players.  If young for electronic additions then you need some expertise and authority with the art-form- not just lazily bang some notes out of a laptop.  It is quite a conundrum and headache for up-and-coming musicians.  I have a lot of respect for those who play Folk/Acoustic as it is the hardest gene(s) to nail- when it comes to solo work- and provides the fewest options with regards sonic endeavor and vocal breadth.  Before I get to my next point (about the underground quality of 2015) Noah Clouds has compelled a new theme for me: when it comes to the inspiration behind taking-up music.  Noah Clouds’ lead took up music after the death of his childhood hamster (true story) but that aside- it was a jokey aside in an email he sent to me- it is interesting anyhow.  Too many musicians tend to get into music for the money and the stardom- the talent shows tend to spew these kinds of cretins out prolifically- and it is quite depressing to see.  Musicians that mean the most- and deserve the biggest applause- are those that do it for the passion and love of music.  I am finding too many musicians that are lacking that passion and drive.  Maybe it is the commercial and financial pressures- that enforce a lot of fatigue and anxiety- but too many artists are coming through to ensure they get column inches and attention.  Noah Clouds is one of those artists that is doing this for the right reason: to ensure his music reaches ears and seduces the listener.  Despite the tragic-hamster-death-background conundrum; the young artist picked up the guitar to make the most beautiful and fascinating music he could.  This year has seen some interesting and standout artists come through the underground.  I have witnessed some fantastic bands come out- although fewer than last year- and a few terrific duos have emerged.  When it comes to the solo artist there have been some really interesting examples emerge.  I have seen a lot of great Electro.-Pop pioneers- mainly female artists- and some great Soul/Pop artists too.  In spite of the lack of great Acoustic/Folk artists emerging- too many still have little energy and innovation to appeal to the masses- Noah Clouds in an artist that goes further and digs deep.  Although his music is largely Acoustic; he pulls in Americana threads and Pop undertones to create something stunning, emotive and fascinating.  Not just sticking to tried-and-tested themes; there is a wealth of wonderful material and sounds to be witnessed.  One of the best young British talents to watch for; the next year will be an exciting one for the Yorkshire songwriter.

Before getting down to Love Is Not Enough it is worth looking around and seeing how far Noah Clouds has progressed.  The E.P. is one of the first forays into the market for Noah Clouds (and his second E.P.).  It is a confident and stunning eneavour that shows an artist with a true voice and clear commitment.  Although there have been a few non-E.P. tracks from the York artists, Love Is Not Enough is the second fully-fledged effort for the public.  The E.P. does not suffer any nerves or slights at all- just command and confidence throughout.  What amazes me about Noah Clouds is the originality and lacking of tribute that comes out in the music.  So many artists tend to sound too similar to others that you have a hard time separating them and coming up with anything to say.  What we have within Love Is Not Enough is a collection of sounds played by an original and fresh voice.  The early signs are all positive for Noah Clouds.  I can see another E.P. arriving next year that builds upon this and expands its motifs.

The first taste of Love Is Not Enough arrives in the form of the title track.  No rambler and slow-moving thing, the ecstatic river-flow rush of acoustic strings gets underway with ferocity.  A passionate and hugely emphatic opening salvo puts me in mind of Nick Drake- especially his work during Five Leaves Left (Cello Song especially).  There is that Drake-esque passion and spellbind from the earliest notes that takes the listener somewhere magical.  There is a flavor of the U.S.A. in the notes as the foot-stomping, hand-clapping mantra compels you to move your feet in rhythm.  The early sentiments look at fates and righteous victims.  It seems like our hero is going through the mill and is trying to discover something more than love.  Whatever bond and relationship he has; whatever the nature of this love- there are downsides and hazards that are plaguing his mind.  Whilst a lot of contemporaries tend to focus on personal heartbreak or the joys of love, it seems our hero has other concerns.  With that husky and whiskey-soaked voice seductively backing the tumbling strings, you get caught in the whirlwind of force and passion.  Our man lets his voice reach to the heavens and seduce with ease.  It is hard not to get sucked into the beauty and rawness of that voice- so much so you pass through some of the lyrics- and get caught up in the dizzying and dancing strings.  That quick-step jive of acoustic notes provides so much energy and swirl that you become entranced.  As our man claims that (his subject) is like a river or a bleeding pain, you become fascinated as to the origins of the song.  My mind instantly goes to a disguise of a relationship.  Our hero has clearly faced some turmoil and it seems like he is seeking something more fulfilling and worthy.  Perhaps a bond has broken and left him hurt; maybe the current love is filled with negatives and strains- there is that desire to claim something golden and more nourishing.  The words are steeped in the history and folklore of ‘60s Folk- it is hard to escape the spirit of Nick Drake- as that sandpaper and romantic voice delivers a stunning sermon.  Love Is Not Enough is an opening track that perfectly demonstrates the natural talent and intuitive spirit of Noah Clouds.  That acoustic guitar work is mesmeric and spine-tingling throughout.  Combining hoe-down merriment with riparian seduction, it is a wonderful combination and parable.  Past the half-way mark, our hero switches the style and inclination of the strings.  From the heavier and domineering passion we get something more subtle and introverted.  The strings lighten and the mood softens- offering reflection and a chance to take everything in- that provide a great sense of story progression and new imagery.  I pictured the hero pacing the dimly-lit floor of an apartment; vinyl spinning and the rain beating he is lost in his memories.  Maybe a girl is in mind- or is framed on the mantelpiece as a constant reminder- and the song is a way to explain his decisions and reach an epiphany.  A young artist that offer some oblique curiosity and some direct soul; it is a fantastic opener that delves deep into the heart and delivers a primal thrill.  The extended and effusive string work is breathtaking to behold: it showcases a guitarist with exceptional talent and a hugely impressive ear for emotion, melody and passion.  I have mentioned the likes of Nick Drake and it is no faint praise or hyperbole- it is a reincarnation of that legendary human.  By the closing moments, the “blood-stained arrows are here to stay” and love/its embodiment is a bird that has flown away.  Bleak and vivid images that recount a young man who has been damaged by the vicissitudes and capriciousness of love.

Sunlight arrives with an appropriately morning-bliss opening that beckons sunlight and a radiance.  Our man seems to be waking to a new dawning and discovering the world with new perspectives and perceptions.  After the tender and evocative opening strings, that voice arrives with its feather-light-cum-grave contradiction that makes an instant impression upon the listener.  A broken mystery is brought by the light and our man seems to be going through a transition at the moment.  The song seems to have its mind in love, paradise scenes and something quite hopeful.  Perhaps over/under-interpreting the song, Sunlight benefits from a dedicated and crystal-like composition that is like a soft breeze on a summer’s day.  Whilst passion fruit shines and radiates, our hero is walking the land and seems to be looking for some answers.  What strikes me about the song is that there is positivity and redemptiveness among the more suppressed and heartbroken moments.  “Ruptured destinies” and near-by sunlight “somehow sets us free”.  Our master is keeping his close cards by his chest and allowing some obliqueness to rule the waves.  Again we seem to be in the midst of a lover’s confession: some bond is afoot and Noah Clouds is trying to come to grips with it.  Whilst Love Is Not Enough has more direct and vivid imagery- that offers some harrowing confessions and wounded spirits- there is more uplift and lightness to be found here.  I have mentioned Drake before- and our man might get sick of my harking back to him- but he is a clear inspiration for the E.P.  That stunningly direct voice has so much contradiction and quality to it.  At one moment is can be feather-like and graceful whilst investigating nature and the nourishment of sunlight.  When looking at spirits fading and something more anxious, that voice can dip into the shadows and produce something deeply affecting.  Once more that guitar gets into the mind and one is amazed at the breadth and range of sensations it produces.  After the rambling, rushing and racing opening track, we have something more settled and tender- although not lacking urgency and spectacular flair.  Although our hero has experienced a love that was “almost hard to bear”, there seems to be a lot of calm and satisfaction in the voice- again, I may be missing the true point.  Someone who has always been there and been waiting; it seems like there is more hope and happiness throughout the number.  Not as heart-rending and aching as the opening number we get a new perspective from the young artist.  The chorus here is one of the E.P.’s most rousing and memorable- one sure to captivate crowds into chorus and dedicated sing-along.  Heartfelt and true, our hero is enclosed in this hard-to-bear love but it is “all we need I swear”.  More satisfied and content with his lot, you can hear that ease in the vocal.  With few recriminations and regrets, Sunshine is a song that will appeal to many listeners.  A lot of us have been in that same position- when a relationship has had cracks and faces tough times- realising the bond is as good as it should be.  Maybe love is not as idealistic and faultless as you’d imagine but no fear: if you are satisfied and happy then that is all you need.

Many listeners have already heard Lost in Barcelona and it is a track that is a favourite of mine.  After the spectacular 1-2 we have witnessed, the third track does not offer any rest or lack of quality.  Following a brief and delirious electronic rush- that subverts expectation and shows a scintillating urgency- our hero is straight to the microphone.  Being lost in Barcelona, our man is entranced and awash in the city’s scenes and passions.  Tales and sights of anarchists from past days; the smells and sights are evoking fond memories and some deep emotions.  From the earliest moments you transport yourself in the song and follow our man as he walks the streets.  Having been lost in Barcelona once before- on the way back from a shopping centre I struggled to find my way back to the hotel- there is never any fear or anxieties at all.  It is a city that takes your breath and mind; free from hustle and danger, you feel warm and safe there.  Boasting so many vivid alleyways and wonderful people, it is a place where you can feel at home- without knowing a single person or speaking the language.  Whilst our city is going to “raise this city tonight” his heart belongs to the people and the architecture.  Perhaps there is a girl in mind- there must be in some avenue- yet this is a paen to the wonders of the Spanish gem.  What impresses me about this song is the change in guitar and vocal pace.  The vocal is more energised and determined here.  Whereas the title track was a soothing and husky delivery; the sophomore track lighter but the same sort of pace- here is a vocal performance that breaks away and sounds more alive, free and unconfined.  Due to the nature of the track- that tribute to a special place- that is reflected in the vocal which rises and dives with intoxication and desire.  The guitar work is perhaps less standout- it is the vocal and energy of the song that is prescient- yet still elicits an emotional punch and plenty of scenic speldnour.  Delicate strum and intricacy notes weave like tapestry to take the listener through the streets and across the city.  You cannot resist the temptation to close the eyes and imagine the people and sights as they unfold.  Looking back at “Catalonian days” and revolutionary ideals, there is that mixture of history and contemporary pride.  Whether our hero is in the city to relax- or if he is there to meet someone- it is clear he feels at home here.  That chorus is reintroduced to create a catchy and flowing mood that will take the listener with it.  Whereas the previous duo of songs have looked at personal love and romance, it is rare to hear something that confesses a love for geography and a particular place.  For that reason, it allows our man a chance to put away burdens and soul-ache to focus on something special to him.  Although a particular girl is not in mind this time around, that does not mean the passion and lust fades in this number.  If anything, the intensity and delirium is at its peak on Lost in Barcelona.  Taking the E.P. to its half-way mark you get blown away by the quality and consistency thus far- leaving you fascinated by what is to come next.

Our fourth track arrives in the form of The Railway Line.  Without hearing a note you can probably guess what inspired the song- and what the lyrics will pertain to.  That is where predictions and the obvious end.  The opening notes have jauntiness and skip to them that instantly put you in warm climbs.  Walking the fields along the railway line, it is a sunny and delightful opening.  Noah Clouds is a master of creating a huge atmosphere and passion through the guitar and this track is no exception.  Early sentiments look at the railway line and times he has walked its limits.  Again we see a girl come into the scene and memories are cast.  There is a girl with a scrape on her knee; times when the two were together by the railway line- perhaps the bond and romance has subsided somewhat.  Throughout the song you get a child-like innocence that propels images of two infants embroiled in a sweet and innocent courtship.  I guess our hero has other ideas and the girl in question has caused some scars for sure.  It is a hard song to break down which is what I love about it.  On the one hand, I perceive messages of lust and fondness; on the other, there seems to be some heartbreak and hurt- our man wants the rain to fall on him.  What captivates me most about the song is the guitar work which emotes so much and provides some stunning drama.  I know how much Noah Clouds puts into the music but few artists take as much care to ensure their compositions are as deep and nuanced as him.  The Railway Line never stands still and has that locomotive feel to it.  Summoning images of rushing trains and a soft breeze it is those contradictions and contrasts that make it such a rich and full-bodied compositions.  Among the fever and settled demure you get some cute and tantilsiing little detours that project images of countryside and conversations; two people lost in each other’s company- nobody around for miles.  Too many songwriters cast shadows and heaviness into their music so it is great to hear a number that is enriched in soul.  Noah Clouds’ wondrous miniatures and staggering finger-picking is only the start of things.  The ageless voice and paradoxes create something monumental and hugely impressive.  Whilst The Railway Line has some weariness in the lyrics, Noah Clouds achieves the best of both worlds- the melodrama of heavy emotions and the necessary escape of the pastoral and dream-like.  Backed by stunning production- that is clear and concise to allow each element to be heard- the fantastical scenes put me in mind of The Thoughts of Mary Jane– sorry, back on Nick Drake territory!  The confidence that comes out in the vocal seems to be from an experienced and older soul- not someone embarking on their earliest days in music.  As the song continues you get lost in those delightful and effusive strings- they bristle and crackle with the promise of a summer morn.  Managing to tie in U.K. and U.S. sounds- the scenery of the British countryside with the twang and sound of Americana- and you get a wonderful blend.  A proprietary concoction that inspires knee-buckled dreams, our hero is casting his ghosts asunder.  It seems like (the duo) never really said goodbye.  Perhaps the railway line is a place they used to meet- or a destination where they said goodbye.  As the song progresses, the landscape becomes more concrete and populous.  Perhaps the duo has had to part ways and split; that assumption sounds alters.  When our hero says that day gave him “so much joy”; the girl walked alongside her “blue-eyed boy”.  Again, perceptions are altered and new images come to mind.  It is a song that constantly compels you to think and concentrate; a track that rewards attention and dedication.  Regardless of the genesis and true nature of the origins- that is something that may be known only to our hero- you are helpless to resist the power of that vocal and the scenic lyrics.  The final notes are a collection of mini-scenes and thoughts that wrap up a song of immense purity and a stunningly beautiful heart.

The E.P.’s most interestingly-titled song comes in the form of The Magnificence of Livin’ Wild & Free.  An ante-penultimate track that begins with a floral and lucid guitar motif; it is a coda instilled with beauty and stately grandeur.  From the infancy of the song one conspires with imaginations and speculation- piecing together scenes and images the notes summon forth.  A cascade of notes and passion, it is an introduction that immediately gets the senses primed and the ears hungry.  Following from the gentility and sparkle of the opening notes, our hero approaches the microphone.  As has become a custom of previous ventures- introspective and looking into life’s inequities- it seems our man has autumnal leaves weighing his shoulders down; a sensitivity that is stopping him in his tracks.  His life is a half-lived thing like a “half-lit cigarette”.  Chasing after “smokescreen silhouettes” it is unclear (in the first round) whether the words are acclaimed to our lead or a personal acquaintance.  What is clear are the vocals which are the most intelligible and concise on the record.  Whereas earlier numbers perhaps saw that smokiness distill some of the clarity; this is the most pin-sharp and resonant performance on the E.P.  Assessing the fidelity and fruitfulness of the city streets, our hero pays tributes to the importance of the pavements- concrete beats that have shaped his identity and who he is.  Whereas previous numbers have funneled open-picking arpeggios to score tales of yearning and disenfranchisement; here there is a sweet-leaf bliss that sees our man in his most assured and calm state.  With his voice at its most emancipated and open, you have a performance that drips with passion and strength.  Speaking to his peers, friends and lovers; it seems they could never see the importance of living wild and free.  Wherever he is- whether it is the home town or a place where he feels safe- even the coldest air “warms my lungs”.  With no ersatz rurality the poet is steeped in the bliss and comfort of the streets- ensconced in a haven that nourishes his soul and causes smiles and contentment.  What Noah Clouds creates on this song is something quite sparse and stripped: a song that has less flesh and fewer bones that previous numbers.  Throughout the E.P. our hero mixes Jazz stylings with Folk-Rock and terrific arrangements.  On this number there is no need for huge instrumentation as it is that simplicity that is being emphasised.  Wanted to go and free; with fire in his lungs there is a determination and travelogue that is impossible to overlook.  Filled with grace and commitment, that vocal soothes and floats over the horizon.  You imagine our hero surrounded by friends or loved ones.  They raise a glass to “forgotten days” and a past that cannot be revived.  Throughout the song you get a sense of a man looking back on his past life and adventures- he seems happy to move on but wistful in his reflectiveness.  Not tied to progeny, commitment and a fixed abode; our man is the nomad that is happy to run free and wild- few anxieties and troubles are there to tie him down.  It is a track that is the E.P.’s most pure essence: the track that perfectly defines Love Is Not Enough and all is campaigns for.  Demonstrating that awesome voice-and-guitar combination, it is a spine-tingling campaign that songwriters should study carefully.  A stunning rumination that is nostalgic and hopeful.  Contrasting early tales- and the black velvet hue that lingers in some notes- here is a song that shows our hero in sensational voice.

Bringing the E.P. to a close is She’s a Writer.  Beginning with nimble-fingered guitar work, we return to the tumbling and open-fingering of the opening number.  A beautiful bookend, you get another exhilarating flow of strings that showcases Noah Clouds and his guitar chops.  An impassioned and scintillating opening exchange you get flavor notes of Flamenco and Latin music within the notes/dynamic.  One of the most contemplative and elongated introduction, it shows a superb talent who knows how to evoke atmosphere and passion- before a single note is even sung.  Our hero is back smoking cigarettes and pondering.   Still believing and resolute our man is headed to the ocean with a head full of thoughts.  Perhaps one of the most original and distinct numbers- stepping out the shadow of Nick Drake for this song- we get an upbeat and optimistic closer to the E.P.  The song’s repeated mantra (“Keep believing”) is represented through a number of scenarios- hearing your heart beat; taking a number etc. – and it is that repetition that makes the song so affecting.  Almost spiritual in its intentions, She’s a Writer is a song that compels the listener to look inside themselves and never give up hope.  The E.P.’s most hopeful moment, it is a perfect way to end.  As the song proceeds; events and emotion-blend starts to mutate.  Friends (or “allies”) of our hero were “victims of friendly fire”.  Declarations and assumptions are renounced as our man looks at past events and people that were in his life.  Although the intention- whoever has caused these changes- was of kindness the result is still the same.  Noah Clouds teases with the oblique and indirect nature of the lyrics- each listener will have their own interpretation of events- and it makes the song more complex and troubled than first feared.  Not only do we get some more emotional depth but that intrigue and speculation will take you by surprise.  Whatever has happened- and whether hurt has been caused or bad changes have occurred- that motivational coda comes back to salvage the ship.  Our hero is determined to ensure everyone in his life keeps believing and aiming- throwing the negativity and harsh history away.  The E.P.’s final moments are dedicated to beautiful and soothing guitar notes.  Bringing proceedings to a close, it is a vivid and colourful composition that never ceases to amaze and calm.  Invested in the movement and ambition of the strings, the listener is entranced and enticed until the end.  Trying to draw all those images together and get a hold of everything the final seconds allow for reflection and interpretation.  A song that has some simplicity and direct- together with something more detached and mysterious- and you have a terrific end to a wonderful E.P.  It is worth noting that Tom Reeve takes lead guitar on this track (providing banjo notes during the E.P. too) and kudos must go to him.

It is fantastic to hear a young artists so assured, ready and confident right out of the blocks.  Having recorded and played for a while, this is the first time for a lot of people to encounter the man behind Noah Clouds (although he released an E.P. before).  I have mentioned Nick Drake several times- and the last time I shall do so- yet it is always meant as a genuine compliment.  When listening to Love Is Not Enough I was reminded of Five Leaves Left (Drake’s assured debut) and the comparisons between them.  Like Drake; Noah Clouds has astonishing ambition, conviction and talent so early on.  The finger-picking guitar work is sensational throughout and the six tracks cover a lot of ground.  From tributes to fantastic cities to remembrance of youthful indiscretions, you have a songwriter not willing to stay still or fit in with the pack.  One of the most poetic and intelligent lyricists on the block, Noah Clouds has crafted tracks that are synonymous with their stunning images, wordplay and choruses- filled with nuance and plenty of emotion.  That central voice is intoxicating and hugely impressive.  From the husky and charcoal opener, it does not stand still; it evolves and develops when needed- without losing its uniqueness and sense of purpose.  By the final numbers that voice is more open and light; optimistic and upbeat- compared with the more dewy-eyed sensitivity of the opening tracks.  It is this emotional balance that ensures a rich and rewarding listen.  Were all the songs the same- in terms of subjects and sound- it would feel bogged-down and a heavy listen.  That blend of positivity and hopelessness; lovelorn and inspired- it showcases a songwriter that wants to inspire his peers and distinguish himself from the pack.  You cannot deny the quality and force of the guitar playing which is universally exceptional and spellbinding.  Bring all these elements together and you have a talent that is one of this country’s best; an E.P. that delivers knock-out blows and beautiful moments- a complete and stunning insight into a sensational young talent.  A cornucopia of colours, sights, sounds and sensations; Love Is Not Enough is as yearning and ambitious as its title.  The young star has heady goals and wants to create a new life; he wants more and is wandering the land- the future and its possibilities are seemingly endless.  On that note- and whether there will be a new E.P. in 2016- it would be good to see Noah Clouds expand the compositions and instrumentations.  I lied about Nick Drake- THIS will be the last mention- but Drake fought with Joe Boyd (head of Witchseason; the label that signed Drake) over the nature of his music.  Boyd fought for strings and orchestral elements on Five Leaves Left– you can hear it on River Man, Way to Blue and most tracks on the album- whereas Drake battled for a more stripped-down and naked sound.  Drake got his dying wish on Pink Moon (sadly the final seduction from a talent that burned-out too young) and this is something Noah Clouds might consider.  A number of the tracks within Love Is Not Enough are magisterial and grand.  The addition of cello, violin and oboe- on a few tracks but not all- would elevate the music to transcendent heights and create an even bigger emotional hit.  Maybe our hero wants to stay true to his Folk/Americana roots for now- perhaps an augmentation and sonic shift will occur later down the line- but it is a suggestion for the future perhaps?  My backseat producing aside, what we have is a staggering E.P. that does not tire or diminish upon repeated listens- it only reveals more beauty, insights and treasure.  With the days and nights becoming dark, cold and wet; we need something that will hold us close and take our minds somewhere more peaceful and warm.  Noah Clouds should be congratulated on the ambition and passion contained within the E.P.  Never sounding far-reaching or undisciplined you have an artist that has spent a lot of time to ensure everything is meaningful and at its best- that attention to detail and commitment cannot be faulted or understated.

This week has given me the opportunity to discover some fantastic new talent.  I know how much love and admiration Noah Clouds has on social media.  The fan numbers are rising and the music clearly means a lot.  It is hard to drill down to a single reason as to why the music resonates so much.  The subject matter is different from a lot of peers.  Noah Clouds takes the listener to new places and introduces fascinating ideas, scenes and emotions.  Not just concentrating on love and heartbreak it ensures the young artist remains original and unselfish.  Too many contemporaries have little imagination and few ideas; Noah Clouds is a musician that is filled with quality and potential.  One of the strongest and most diverse lyricists I have heard (in the genre for sure) his music is full of conviction and mobility.  It is that central voice which hangs it all together in a compelling and phenomenal way.  Able to convey so much emotion and urgency with what he has his disposal is incredible.  It is the mark of a fertile and fantastic songwriter that Love Is Not Enough is what it is (if that makes sense?).  An E.P. that is jam-packed with adventure, curiosity and introspection; we have an artist who is wholly in love with music.  Clearly our hero has had an interesting past and has felt compelled to pick up a guitar- especially after the death of his beloved pet hamster- and exorcise demons and concerns through the medium of music.  The music contained within possesses plenty of heartfelt utterances and intelligent storytelling.  Before I wrap things up, it is worth predicting the future of Noah Clouds- whilst returning to my original themes.  The six-track E.P. from the young York man shows a musician that wants to remain in the scene for a long time.  Clearly a lot of effort and commitment (not to mention money) has gone into making Love Is Not Enough.  It is not a rush-released statement from a musician that is desperate to get anything on record.  Every moment and minute is testament to a talent that is looking for respect, longevity and success.  That said; it will be interesting to see what 2016 holds for the young songwriter.  At the moment a lot of the tour dates are concentrated closer to home (York).  I know for sure many of us here down south- around London and a lot of venues- would like to see Noah Clouds in the flesh.  Those E.P. tracks would sound fantastic in a live setting- a chance to see those emotions and confessions up-close.  I can see another E.P. arriving- or perhaps an album no less- as you can hear that hunger and drive in each song.  In a scene where there are so few great solo artists- especially those who play Acoustic and Folk sounds- it is rewarding and impressive to see such a young artist come through with such conviction.  I have had reservations with regards Folk/Americana sounds and how limited a lot of its patrons are.  From the ‘60s onwards the legends of the scene- the Neil Youngs and Bob Dylans of the world- have amazed and inspired the scene.  Since those days there has been a steady decline in quality and originality.  Perhaps it is hard to nail and conquer genres that work in quite narrow and specific quarters?  This year has produced some vibrant and talented musicians onto the scene.  For my money the female solo artist have elicited the greatest reaction and biggest range.  The chaps are making up ground yet most are lagging behind their female peers.  I hope that 2016 sees a little balance and a revival in music.  It will be fascinating to see which artists make the biggest impressions in the coming year and what music is produced.  Noah Clouds will be an act that is going to be on many people’s lips.  That infectious and stunning sound is ready-made for festivals and arenas; it has an intimacy to it that would suit cafes and bars- music that is utilitarian and hugely profitable.  Too many artists get into music to cash-in and get paid- in an industry where it is notoriously hard to make money- and get their faces on the media pages.  If you are in the business to get T.V. deals and big dollars; to get into tabloids and appeal to the lowest common denominator.  Those that embark upon a musical career for the right reasons are the ones we should all be focusing on.  People that want their words to be heard and inspire others are those that will remain and be in focus for many years to come.  Yorkshire is producing some of music’s best and brightest stars; Noah Clouds is among the most arresting and startling the county has produced in a while.  Bringing 2015 to a rather triumphant and stunning close, I recommend you dive into Love Is Not Enough and entrance yourself in its wonders.  An E.P. that contains so many brilliant moments and nuanced vocals; it is hard to escape the passion, drama and intrigue throughout.  On a cloudy and rain-swept day- down this way anyway- it is a great time to immerse yourself in music that brings sunshine and warmth.  Not your average and workaday solo artist; Noah Clouds has assembled a rich and vibrant collection backed by some fantastic musicians.  A young man who claims that Love Is Not Enough; take it from me…

 

IT is plenty for now.

 

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Follow Noah Clouds:

 

Official:

http://noahclouds.com/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/noahclouds/?fref=ts

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/noahcloudsmusic

Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/noahclouds/

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Music:

https://noahclouds.bandcamp.com/releases

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Videos:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfyIZhxxN7AuD9o02P5xzGQ

 

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