There are moments in which the eventful and fast-paced life of a musician sparks envy in some onlookers. You could watch an artist post photos on Instagram every night of the crowd they've just played to and wonder how incredible it must feel to be able to do such a thing for a living–to have a job where your only role it to make music and play it to crowds that will sing every word back to you. What we don't often see, however, are the moments where the cons outweigh the pros. On his latest single, "Mess," Vermont born singer-songwriter Noah Kahan grapples with wanting to go back to the very beginning, before the onset of the inevitable changes brought upon by his success as a musician.
"I guess the stage was my mask, I forgot the way I looked before I wore it," Kahan sings midway through the track, debunking the myth of on-the-road glamour. There are moments like this, and when he mentions reaching out to old friends who in turn "only ever ask me how tour is," where we see the 22-year-old losing touch with the aspects of home that most artists use to keep themselves grounded. The production of the track builds slowly, careful not to overwhelm the tone and message of the song. The airy progressions are simple and bring with them a sense of weightlessness–of home, for the singer. This feeling doesn't extend beyond the production, unfortunately, as he continues "And there's still weight on my back, I just try to ignore it."
"Mess" is the lead single from Kahan's upcoming debut album, and was likely created in a darker headspace than the one in which the singer is in at the time of its release. It's a track that welcomes vulnerability and the realization that not every moment is going to be a good one, but hopefully the not yet named album touches on the better of these times as well.