Please check out Verity Credit Union, our great partner in the 100 Bands in 100 Days local music showcase.
Music fans of the Pacific Northwest, get ready for our fourth annual year-end daily local music showcase, 100 Bands in 100 Days, where every day until December 31st, we’re showcasing a new band or artist you have to know about, presented by Verity Credit Union. Make sure you are checking the #100Bands100Days hashtag at Twitter on the daily to stay on top of all the bands featured and make sure to follow Verity on Twitter and NW_Music_Scene as well. Some days the featured act could be an established and locally-adored northwest-based musician and other times they could be a band with a small following that just hasn’t had their deserved time in the sun yet. Either way, we’re fairly confident you can come away from this daily segment with plenty of new favorites. Today’s featured act is Portland’s Noah Kite.
Noah Kite is a Portland based songwriter shaping jazz and classical influences to accent folk’s lyrical poignancy. This chambered folk-rock finds its roots in a childhood exposure to Ravel, Sade, Van Morrison, Enya, and Steely Dan, to name a few. Over the last few years myriad experiences teaching, traveling, and touring abroad have all given fuel to a tension of melody and metaphor best distilled in the recent release he spent May touring Europe to support. While these dynamically orchestrated dramas find an expansively symphonic home on the eponymous record, in live settings arrangements are sparse; Kite’s guitar and voice accompanied by the haunting oboe of Laura Gershman are laced with choice moments of stacked and looped ambient textures from horn and axe alike.
Noah Kite is an impressive, emotional album that improves with each listen from a very high starting point. The lyrics are as intricate as the instrumentation and Kite’s baritone is riveting. His voice is somewhat reminiscent of fellow Portland musician Josh Garrells (albeit without the Christian mysticism). Fans of Owen Pallet and chamber pop in general will be enamored with the album.The opening track “In the Flesh” (complete with a chair squeak played expertly by Kite) is a sparsely told story of love slowly dissolved by distance and time. Distance over time–the measure of velocity–sends us careening uncontrollably away from one another in diverging paths to separate nowheres. The second stanza wonders “if I trade a sense of adventure for feeling safe how do I know you will not go away” as Kite powerfully expands and contracts his voluminous voice while the strings expand the sound into visions of wide and wild landscapes. It’s the classic doomed romance. That which draws the lover is also what causes the anguish. How can one change for another without losing that vital part of oneself they fell in love with in the first place? The unsatisfying answer Kite “cannot help but second guess” is the physical present. “Trust in the Flesh” is the refrain; a play on the here and now sense of “in the flesh” and also the physical expressions of love we hide behind when the questions become too hard to answer, the emotional distance too far to span.
There’s a whole lot to love about Kite’s sound, we suggest spending some time with this album and you’ll likely come away a fan.
Submissions for 100 Bands in 100 Days are still open to any Pacific Northwest band interested in submitting. If you would like to submit for a chance to be featured in this segment, consult this link for more information on how you can do so.
A huge shoutout to Verity Credit Union for doing so much for the music community and for being such a great partner.