Whether you want to acknowledge it or not, commercialism is the driving force behind the music industry. As a byproduct, substance is often lost or ignored in exchange for marketing an artist’s image for mass appeal. With a few exceptions, uncut artistry is a secondary or even tertiary trait among whom the movers and shakers deem to be popular. Nashville indie rock artist Nick Noon doesn’t follow the mainstream formula, but he’s concocted his own by combining engrossing melodies with compelling lyricism. Together, his newly released EP, “A Jejune Affair,” is a compilation of the evocative content that Noon has built his particular brand upon.
Avid readers of this blog will be immediately familiar with half of this four-song collection: “Costumes” and “Bring Out The Sunshine.” Opening with the politically barbed, “Costumes,” Noon embodies the disillusionment with elected leadership while spinning an elegant, but decidedly dark, symphonic melody. “Bring Out The Sunshine” is the height of Noon’s powers as both a poignant storyteller and composer. This track contains multitudes of melodic layers that coalesce into a soul-stirring look into keeping the encroaching gloom at bay.
Prior to “Bring Out The Sunshine,” Noon tunes up with the stripped down, symphonic folk style of “When The Chariot Calls.” Aside from being the warm-up act to the following track, it focuses on the big picture. In the grand scheme, Noon beholds the dilapidated pantheon of “star spangled deities,” but is still in search of that ever elusive American dream.
The grand finale, “Grant Me Speed,” juxtaposes the bleary-eyed optimism of “Bring Out The Sunshine” with a tumultuous storm that leaves behind a bitter catharsis in its wake. It carries with it a resolute attitude as it tries to muster up enough strength to soldier on. Reluctantly, the end has come to pass, but you don’t dare look back. In resounding fashion, Noon wraps up this EP with a soul cleansing ballad.
‘Jejune’ is defined as naive, simplistic, superficial or in the context of writing: dry and uninteresting. Luckily, none of those apply to the quality of Noon’s “A Jejune Affair.” Altogether, it is a definitive collection of works by a thoughtful and gifted songwriter. Algorithms and trends be damned, Nick Noon is his own brand.
Written by Travis Boyer
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