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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Noah Kahan proves nothing lasts ‘Forever’

Peyton McKenzie

Have you ever listened to an artist who perfectly captures every gut-wrenching feeling you’ve ever had? Noah Kahan has no issue writing with brutal honesty, and his album “Stick Season (Forever)” — which released on Feb. 9 — explores wistfulness and yearning.

I began listening to Kahan in October 2022, when “Stick Season” first came out. The album instantly earned a special place in my heart, and since then I have explored his entire discography.

Out of all his albums — and three versions of “Stick Season” — “Stick Season (Forever),” which comprises the 14 original tracks plus eight deluxe tracks and eight collaborative tracks, is definitely my favorite.

The original “Stick Season” album catapulted Kahan into stardom and the mainstream media. Kahan is now No. 1 on the Hot 100 Songwriters Chart as of Feb. 8, according to Billboard.

In his newly released version, Kahan added two more collaborations to the list. “You’re Gonna Go Far (With Brandi Carlile)” and “Paul Revere (With Gregory Alan Isakov)” made me love this new version of the album compared to the original.

Although “(Forever)” still includes every original song and deluxe track, Kahan is extremely in tune with his fans and continued to give us new content and expand “Stick Season.”

“You’re Gonna Go Far” was one of my favorite songs before the collaboration, so it took me a few listens to appreciate what Carlile added to the song. This song emphasizes that it’s OK to leave home and begin your own journey. You shouldn’t feel guilty for taking time to find yourself and to accomplish amazing things.

Kahan picks and chooses which songs to change the lyrics of on collaborations, but on “You’re Gonna Go Far (With Brandi Carlile),” Kahan decided to keep the original lyrics and have Carlile sing the second verse.

My favorite part of this new version are the harmonies and background vocals from Carlile. She made the song feel comforting and even though I never heard of her before this, I could tell she added her own style to her verses.

The lyrics “If you wanna go (if you wanna go) far/ Then you gotta go (then you gotta go) far/ You gotta go far” close out the song and have always been my favorite. You can feel the sense of encouragement from both artists as they urge listeners to follow their dreams.

I have always thought of “Paul Revere” as an underrated song. Since its release on the deluxe version of the album titled “Stick Season (We’ll All Be Here Forever)” on June 8, 2023, the song became one of my favorites.

Despite this, I’ve never really heard anyone talk about it on social media until Kahan released the version collaborating with Isakov.

As someone who grew up in New England, this song always spoke to me. I’ve thought about this song to mean struggling to fit in with a place where everything always stays the same.

Kahan and Isakov passionately sing “But I’m in my car, and I see the yard/ And the patch of grass where we buried the dog/ And the world makes sense/ Behind a chain-link fence/ If I could leave, I would’ve already left.” I especially love this part of the song because you can hear the frustration in both of their voices.

Collaborating with Isakov was definitely the right move for “Paul Revere.” I love his work and immediately knew that he would make this song even better.

I’m a sucker for love songs, and Kahan effortlessly puts feelings of attachment, devotion and weakness into words.

The release of the long-awaited track “Forever” was the perfect way to end the era of “Stick Season.” Kahan teased his fans with snippets of the song on social media before ultimately releasing it on Feb. 9.

I find this track to be the most romantic. It expresses how despite having feelings of insecurity in a relationship, the narrator promises to grow and heal with their partner and live happily ever after.

Kahan’s ability to use instruments in his favor to convey his emotions make him unlike any other artist to me. Every time I thought “Stick Season” couldn’t get any better, he found ways to lyrically and stylistically enhance the album twice more.

In a world where indie-folk has been made to be a broad genre, Kahan found his own voice. Compared to popular indie-folk artists such as Lord Huron, The Lumineers and Hozier, you can find distinctions just by listening to instruments and lyrics.

As this chapter comes to a close, Kahan’s music will “Forever” have “All My Love,” and I’m excited for what he has in store next.

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About the Contributors
Amanda Madera
Amanda Madera, Arts & Life Editor
Peyton McKenzie
Peyton McKenzie, Creative Director

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