Photo: Josh Goleman
Noah Kahan is breathing a refreshing dose of reality into pop music. Teasing his forthcoming debut album, Kahan is back with “Mess,” an ode to the chaotic time in young adulthood that begs for a sense of normalcy. Known for his honest lyrics and distinct vocals, the up-and-comer has gained an incredible amount of traction in the past year. Following his sensational collaboration with Julia Michaels, “Hurt Somebody,” Kahan has released a slew of wildly successful guitar-centric pop singles, including “Come Down” and “False Confidence.” Set to open for both James Bay on his upcoming North American tour and Dean Lewis on his European tour, Kahan’s artistic voice has earned him a spot at the table with the biggest and greatest names in the industry.
“Mess” goes all the way back to small town Vermont, where Kahan grew up. Though his successes encapsulate what every young musician dreams of achieving, being plucked from a normal life to pursue his career right out of high school comes with challenges. His lyrics are raw, conversational and strike a chord with the overwhelming desire to return home. He sings,
“I’ll move back home forever. I’ll feed the dogs and I’ll put all my pieces back together where they belong and I’ll say, ‘I’m a mess.’”
Photo: Josh Goleman
Produced by Kahan’s longtime collaborator Joel Little (Lorde, Khalid), the song has intimate verses and an anthemic hook. As always, his husky vocals and intricate guitar skills are at the forefront of the music. Between two upcoming tours and a full length album, Kahan is at the inception of a long and successful career, but he hasn’t forgotten where he comes from in the whirlwind of opportunities coming his way.
He commented on the meaning behind the song,
“My life has taken a 180° turn. I’m on a very different path than what I thought I would do. I get nostalgic for the locale where I grew up, because the scenery is so beautiful. Going from this to bigger cities and tours is crazy for me. The truth is—regardless of where I’ve gone—my parents still yell at me to pick up the dogs’ shit when I’m back home. ‘Mess’ is a song I wrote during a very overwhelming and generally sad time in my life. Being able to work on this song and bring these feelings to light was a lifeline for me, and I hope it provides you with similar comfort.”
Look out for Noah Kahan’s debut album, and give “Mess” some streaming love in the meantime.