WKQX welcomes The Strumbellas with Noah Kahan
Thursday, Oct 19, 2017 7:30 PM CDT
(6:30 PM Doors)
Thalia Hall, Chicago, IL
When a crowd is singing along with the last chorus after hearing the song for the first time, and Twitter lights up with those same lyrics in the days following a performance, you know it's a song that connects. With poignant yet sing-along-able lyrics and undeniable rock noir musical undertones, Spirits, the first single from The Strumbellas’ forthcoming album, embodies the essence of what has been attracting fans from across North America to this Lindsay, Ontario-bred band.
That journey has been a whirlwind since the release of the band’s 2012 debut album My Father And The Hunter. The Strumbellas' sound — haunting lyrics fused with infectious, danceable melodies — won them both fans and critical recognition. A year later, they followed up with We Still Move On Dance Floors, which earned the band six awards, including a JUNO and Sirius XM
Indie Award, as well as a spot on the Polaris Music Prize Long List. And of course, there’s been touring. Lots of touring.
In early 2015, the Strumbellas, off the road and ready to go into the studio again, set up shop at downtown Toronto’s Lincoln County Social Club to record the new album with LA Producer/Engineer, Dave Schiffman (Johnny Cash, Haim, Weezer). During three recording sessions during the first half of 2015, Schiffman and the band harnessed a vivid sound that was itchin’ to get out of them. Bigger. Bolder. Beckoning.
From the rural solitude of the quiet town of Strafford, VT (Population: 1000), Noah Kahan discovered his penchant for songwriting early on. Long, cold winters in the Vermont backcountry were spent honing his craft in the rolling hills of his family’s 133 acre tree farm. This serene location provided the backdrop for countless adventures that ranged from typical boyhood antics to the more rebellious teenage exploration. The older that Noah got, the more he began to feel the pull of adulthood clash with the familiarity of his adolescence. Drawing heavily from these experiences, Noah’s songs are laced with a youthful wisdom; nostalgia and whimsy taking a back seat to honesty and wit. He meets this conflict head on by acknowledging the loneliness of this new phase of his life coupled with his desire to stay true to himself. Noah’s writing reflects the all too universal feeling of being lost in one’s own backyard and foreshadows the excitement that comes with a leap into the unknown.
Now 20 years old, Noah once again finds himself deviating from the norm. As he follows a dream as old as he can remember, his childhood friends are choosing majors and preparing for more conventional careers. No stranger to feeling lost or isolated, he now chooses to embrace the uncertainty as fuel. The lyrics to his debut single ‘Young Blood’ read as a letter of encouragement and advice to himself as he embarks on this new adventure. He reminds himself to “be surprised, keep hungry.” Throughout unexpected challenges and new revelations, Noah is staying true to his nature; questioning everything and enjoying the ride.