Shibbster Tweets About: Noahs Boat "The Less You Love The Less You Live"
Shibbster Tweets About: Noahs Boat "The Less You Love The Less You Live"
Noahs Boat - …doesn’t it have to say „Noah’s Ark?“. Not in this case! Noahs Boat is not a story in that sense. They are a story-telling band from Berlin. Without lyrics. Meaning; they play instrumental music. They create images, landscapes and feelings around you and if you let yourself fall head first into yourself: inside you as well.
I can actually say that for sure - if their style hasn’t changed dramatically - as I have seen them play live on several occasions now. And every time they were able to let me forget my surroundings and what happened during the day. This sets the bar for this album quite high I think, as I am now listening just to the music without having the live atmosphere.
The Less You Love, The Less You Live is actually coming out on 1st November 2018, so for the first time ever, Shibbster Tweets is presenting you an exclusive pre-release review! (In case you haven’t been to their record release show yesterday…
Are you excited? I am as well, so let’s get started!
Noahs Boat - The Less You Love The Less You Live
01. Was weiß ich denn schon (What do I know)
The album starts with a kind of spacey sample, abruptly turning into a very nice groove with an acoustic guitar melody. This transition in the very beginning doesn’t really sound fluent to my ears, but never mind. As soon as I settled with the groove and ambience, I was able to just enjoy the moment. The tasty mixture of acoustic guitars with steel and nylon strings sounds really colorful and perfectly blends with the foundation of the song. …from then on, every synthesizer that’s appearing throughout the song, being it a pad or a ghost-sounding melody perfectly fits. Same goes for percussion and saxophone elements. This track is really setting the scene and leaving me with two options for the rest of this album:
Either I listen to it very closely and focused so that I can continue to tell you my thoughts or I let myself drift in the music and forget about everything.
MXVII immediately welcomes you in an atmosphere a little colder than the opening track, but therefore, more open. To me, this song sounds like a city filled with water. But not like Berlin or Venedig, I mean literally filled with water. Peacefully. What really strikes my attention here, is the sound of the drum samples. They reflect pretty accurate, how well sampled and „real-played“ elements work together here in order to create this unique soundscape. This song let’s you drift a little, without being too deep down. Very relaxing. I like that! Highlight is definitely the part where the saxophone comes in after the quiet section. It really gives this soundscape meaning and life and came it the perfect point in the song.
70’s, HERE WE GO! If you have been following along deeply for the first two songs, Teal really is going to take you somewhere else. A strong disco vibe with snaps, claps, wahwah guitar and the iconic cinematic „crisp“ sound… it’s just way to cool! This one really got me grooving here in front of my desk. It’s fascinating how stable this arrangement is, without getting boring though. The key here is: attention to detail: Actually there is a lot of details going on in this tune - but they are all so well planned and executed in their subtleness that you will just find yourself dancing as long as this track is on. Constantly - until the end skit kicks in: Which to me again, sounds a little too abrupt and not quite fitting the rest of the song. But this might as well be part of a story or humor that I just do not understand. (If so: Sorry!)
This really sounds like a bonfire. (with a drum set being there as well by accident) I could totally imagine myself sitting around a bonfire with friends having deep conversations or just sitting together there happily and quietly staring into the fire and letting the thoughts drift. It kinda makes me rethink what I’ve said in the beginning: Maybe Noahs Boat is not a story telling band but more some sort of teleporting machine? They really bring you special places within minutes, which really is exciting. What’s exciting as well is the „panning-game“ in this song as well: If you listen to it on headphones, you can really hear the instruments wandering around. Ending this song with a snap really is a statement. But it really suits it.
05. Make A Wish
Whoa. This beginning might be one of the weirdest sounding choirs I’ve heard. But it caught my attention and raised the level of curiosity. Which is fed even more then, as only a guitar and subtle sounds begin to play - opening the way again for a strong and relaxed groove foundation. Throughout this arrangement, sounds with harder and softer transients keep trading places, which gives everything a very vivid vibe. And this weird choir from the beginning is coming back in the end, however with the additional instruments, this time it really embeds itself into what you are hearing.
06. Was ist nur los
As a German speaker, you can already tell in the context of Noahs Boat’s music and the song title that this is going to be a sad one. (Was ist nur los = What’s wrong?) And yes. It really sounds sad and desperate but without sounding overdramatic. This song is not a diva. You can hear that it’s sad and you can hear the despair, but you won’t get a gist of why it’s sad. Because as soon as you start to feel like you’ll figure it out, it throws little sparks of hope at you. There’s a subtle tension throughout the song that keeps me moving in my head. It just sounds really thoughtful and I find this very inspiring on many levels. If this is the song’s intention: 100% works for me. It really got me thinking.
07. The Less You Love The Less you Live
Here we have it, the title track of the album. Opening up a very large space around you, that sounds exciting: You can exactly tell „where“ which instrument is, but you can’t tell how close or how far away you are. This is exciting as this song pulls you closer and deeper, this reflects its name - at least to me: The less you love, the less you live. This back and forth going of pulling you closer and pushing you away is showing you contrasts. Every listener will find their sweet spot in this, but it’s always only on for a second or two and then it develops into a different sound again. Literally screaming at you, that you should admire the things you admire in life even more. Be more conscious about it. - PSCHT! At one point, the song is getting completely quiet. You’ll only hear birds until a man’s voice sets in with very warm and positive words. …and the song opens up again for a cinematic final section. (Don’t expect drama. I said cinematic).
Man, I really like how they play with my spatial awareness.
What sounds like someone walking throw the snow quickly builds the foundation for what sounds more like a reggae kind of instrumental. Which to me is very interesting, as I usually associate reggae with warm summer days and colours like red, yellow and orange - but this one sounds very blue to my ears. Rather cold but not freezing. I’d rather say refreshing: Although this one is laid back and relaxed as well in terms of the general mood, it gets me a little more awake actually.
What the Brass section is playing towards the end, could as well be a chanting choir - which sounds amazing in my head. …the ending kind of connects to my impression of snow and blue as it is not a flat fade out, but it sounds more like the song is being pushed underwater into the deep until you can’t see and hear it anymore.
And here we roll again! Cache-Cache conveys a similar impression as Teal did: It’s funky, groovy and gets you vibing from the very first second. Usually, I would get ultra-annoyed by this „quack-quack“ guitar sound, but the way it’s embedded into the song and the melody it’s playing is pretty cool. And by that: not enough! There is a cool break in the middle of the song, that sounds like it is played by a big band on a huge stage. Which to me is another example of how much atmosphere one can create just by using accents. But it doesn’t stop afterwards: The „big band“ continues to play the ska-way-of-life. Again: you will be dancing and forgetting things around you as long as this song is playing. And as if it was a joke, the ending is pretty abrupt again. The resemblance is uncanny. Haha! (Again, if I didn’t get the joke: sorry!)
With a duration of 5 minutes, Paths is the longest track of this album. Starting out with reversed-sounding samples and glitching vocals, it could as well be the intro of a dubstep tune. Spoiler alert: No dubstep ahead here. Instead, Noah’s Boat push you away into a special place, that might look different to every human listening to it. But I am certainly gone and feel very warm welcomed there. What I think deserves close attention (if your speakers/headphones allow you to) is the low-end of the song in terms of production. It’s very thick and warm without having the slightest touch of sounding muddy. Very well done and an example of how to make a mix suit the song. After about three and a half minutes, it feels as if the song is about to end. But don’t worry, it’s only taking a deep breath before bringing you back to that special place. I find the name Paths very well-chosen for this song. Of course it’s plural, as everyone of us will go a different one.
11. Hidden Track
For me, this is an absolute lounge/ambience track! And so well executed! This song is very consistent in its arrangement but the love for detail really makes it spark. Connecting real instruments with digital instruments again in a sovereign manner. But it could also serve as the track you find yourself dancing to in a hidden nightclub at 5am in the morning. Shallow light, an empty dance floor and just you and the music. Just until the batteries of the DJ’s equipment die. (Because that’s how the ending sounds like, hahah!)
Okay, with this song I actually feel like I really got too preoccupied by reading the name. Have you ever seen a candle in slight wind? How the flame is moving every now and then, sometimes almost disappearing and in the next moment completely stable again? I feel like I discover that in this track, as I feel like sometimes a few hits of the drums or missing or samples are appearing almost randomly with glitching voices on top. It is a confusing soundscape but by no means scary or uncomfortable in any way. It takes you on a floating trip, where you actually don’t care where you go, as you enjoy going there so much already. But instead of actually dropping you off somewhere, this song takes you with it into the unknown as it spends the last 30 seconds calmly resolving itself.
13. Dom Sierot
Dom Sierot is Polish for orphanage (something new learned for the day!). From the very first second, this one sounds rather sad. As soon as the strings come in, the sadness increases, without being overdramatic again. But it surely makes you know, that you are almost at the end of this album. What I like about this one is, that it started out pretty sad, then got even sadder but from then on, it spreads positive sparkles. More and more by the time. It doesn’t turn into a happy track, but it really opens up. Then, there’s a hard break, where the music stops and you hear a noise that sounds like a very old movie player, slowly bringing the music back to you. Maybe this part is where this song got its name from. It’s up to you in what context you understand it. What’s beautiful about that is that the song actually ends with that movie player sound again. It’s done now. You have reached the end of this journey.
The overall impression of „The Less You Love The Less You Live“:
This really is a special album. There might be people out there, that are totally into this type of music. I do enjoy this but I must say, I am not used to it. Thus, it was quite hard for me to keep myself focused on the music. I mentioned it earlier, I had the choice of letting myself fall into the music or keep paying attention - I decided to keep paying attention so that I won’t miss anything. But since I am used to listening to music with vocals in it, it sometimes was weird to not perceive this album as background music. It perfectly serves as background music as well, but it really deserves the attention I payed. There’s so much love to detail in this record and I am pretty sure that it is almost impossible to discover every detail if you haven’t been involved in the production. Which I think is quite cool: Every time you put this record on, you can discover something new. And discover really is the word here! I’ve heard people saying things about how music can make you travel through time and you relive memories and so on. This album in its entirety doesn’t take you back or forth in time - instead, it is taking you places as if it was a teleporting machine! This is really exciting and I am very sure that many many people will enjoy this album. Either as background music, or for falling into it or for listening to it really, really focused.
strongly recommended! (It really is interesting!)
As a closing word for this review: If you’ve made it this far and you live in Germany, there is one big thing on your to-do list. Go and see Noahs Boat live. I’ve experienced them a few times already and as much as I liked this album, seeing this band play live is a totally different experience. I rarely encountered such an enjoyable atmosphere during a concert. Get into this album. Get tickets for the next Noahs Boat show!
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