Noah emerged from the local indie scene of her home in Northern Japan in a haze of minimalist, spellbinding electro R&B. Following the release of 3 beautifully crafted mixtapes, she has finally released this 15-track, full-length debut, blending a host of influences from 90’s trip hop to French animated soundtrack scores, to create an imaginative fantasy world with her delicate voice, some childlike melodies and oddball drone noises.
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- Sivutie by Noah
8/10 Robin Staff review, 30 June 2015
Japanese R&B singer Noah has made a skewed pop record here, one that rarely gets anywhere near the verse-chorus structure golden mean. Instead, the gorgeously serene production around her is fragmented into tiny pieces, her voice appearing only in strands, as if intuiting with the same syncopation as the beats underneath. ‘Sivutie’ is reminiscent of a great host of great R&B ideas, travelling from trip-hop to Tinashe in sound, but in direction, it feels singular. It loosens up on the pop music and instead goes for forceless ambient soundscaping.
Self-produced, Noah has previously collaborated with Sela, and their sounds have a similar love of ambient tinkering. On ‘Sivutie’, she mixes R&B in with gently lilting piano, tape grain and watery beats, seemingly considering her voice to be another component, something that procures more atmosphere. This is not to say that Noah is not a compelling, humane part of this record -- she acts as guide through her creative impulses, singing as a way of marking a protagonist in a dreamlike setting.
It’s a long and meandering record, but it doesn’t feel disconnected; a better word would be discombobulated, because there’s confusion at hearing a record so infused with R&B fall so dramatically into a strange fantasy world. Ultimately, though, Noah has created one of the most consistently atmospheric records of the year.
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