Photo: Sam Gautier
Beginner's luck? We think not. Singer-songwriter Noah Kahan is back with single "Come Down," and it's yet another winner. His recent release with Julia Michaels, "Hurt Somebody" was a smashing success with more than 31 million streams and opened doors for Kahan to headline a tour across UK, Europe and Australia. He might be young, but wow can this kid write a folk-pop song.
Not unlike Taylor Swift, who grew up on a Christmas tree farm, Kahan grew up on a 133-acre tree farm in Vermont. Perhaps it was the creativity-inducing boredom that a small town inevitably breeds, but Kahan's songwriting chops developed early and he was working with producer Joel Little (Khalid, Lorde) by the time he was set to enroll in college. It's safe to say he made the right call by passing collegiate life to pursue music, as his debut single "Young Blood" garnered over 17 million streams and entered Spotify's US Viral Chart at #5. "Come Down" delivers the same commercial appeal as his previous releases and comes in the form of a deliciously simple pop song that listeners can really sink their teeth into.
The lyrics, "playing Clapton as we put a paper towels on the fire alarm," play between palm muted guitar strums in "Come Down," evoking a sense of youthful nostalgia we can all relate to. The song is about helping someone through an anxiety-ridden time, evoking a sense of calm and patience with its laid back beat and tasteful harmonies. Listening to Kahan's music feels like having a conversation, and a meaningful one at that. At 21, Noah Kahan is just getting started, but the songwriting and perspective he offers exceeds artists decades his elders.
Kahan's voice has the same playful adolescent quality as some other major players like Shawn Mendes and he could have easily been the star of a boy band, had he chosen to go that route. However, what really sets him apart from the rest of the heavily saturated pop market are his painfully descriptive and authentic lyrics. Kahan has the ability to craft his words in extremely specific yet universally understood ways, and the results are some incredibly powerful songs.
Check him out live as he tours the United States–this is one you don't want to sleep on: