“I can barely remember my life before the guitar.” One could argue that those words (which Noah offered in an interview with Mid Tennessee Music in March of last year) sum up much more about him than just his love for an instrument. He’s intense, focused. If you didn’t take a bit of time to get to know him, you might mistake those attributes for something unsavory…and you would be mistaken.
Born in Minnesota and raised in rural Wisconsin near a small town on the mighty Mississippi river, Noah grew up in the midst of corn fields and pine trees. Those open spaces and quiet places influence everything he does musically, and then some.
Now, located in Madison, WI, Noah has thrown himself into another musically oriented venture: The Ark of Music LLC, an online company which discovers and provides publicity for the under-appreciated musical talent of the world. His new company does this by providing “guaranteed music reviews” primarily for independent and small label artists; “The good stuff,” as he calls it. He then shares those reviews with his online subscribership. “The artists get more publicity. The fans discover amazing music they never knew existed—everyone wins.”
Rejecting the now rather old-school and conventional method of holding to a particular sound or genre, Noah’s latest album, Flesh & Metal defies classification…literally. Distinct elements of folk, blues, pop, rock, R&B, and electronica present themselves in ways not subtle whatsoever, though pleasing to the ear…even soothing at times.
In the album’s second track, Nothin’ to Lose Blues, Noah tells the story of writing his first blues song. His honesty is also comically ironic, as he discovers the only thing he truly has to be blue about, is the fact that he’s got nothing to be blue about. The song charges forward with acoustic guitars, strong percussion, and finely tuned vocal harmonies, making it difficult to sit still while you listen.
Unafraid to take on society’s conventions, Noah shakes a fist at God in the spiritually defiant, Valley of the Sine Wave, as he rants… “Won’t you come down, com’on down, and show yourself. Cuz I’m sick and tired, so damn sick and tired of playin’ in the dirt for my wealth.”
That showing of Flesh & Metal’s dark melancholy, however, is quickly balanced by songs like The Pines, a track aptly named after Noah’s favorite band by the same name. The Pines is a sweeping instrumental piece, blending just the right amount of acoustic guitar, slide guitar, synth, and soft percussion. As the track drifts along, one might find themselves thinking of nothing at all…only grinning and listening.
Noah’s intricate finger-picking makes one sit up and take notice in When Indeed, a track that bares two simple lyrical phrases, “When will my mind, come home? When indeed.” The rest of the track is a lovely acoustic ride in the general direction of a place we can only assume is the “home” Noah speaks of.
All loveliness aside, the album makes a poignant final statement with its last track, Chasing. As the track plays, one can almost picture Noah alone in some old, forgotten basement, as he belts out, “Why I been chasing, green paper, lord-lord tell me why. If I ever catch some, mark my word. It’ll pass me by…”
The album as a whole is incredibly unique and brings to mind a melting-pot of artists including everyone from David Gray to Du Tonc, and a countless many others that fall somewhere into the vast expanse in-between. Noah quite effortlessly transitions from acoustic folk, to electro-pop, and back again—more than once over the duration of the 14-track album. He asks the tough questions, waits for answers—some arrive, some don’t—either way he keeps moving forward. At the end of the day, he’s created music that everyone can relate to, on an album that anyone can appreciate.
Below, you can listen to Noah James Hittner’s album, Flesh & Metal, check out our interview with him, connect with him on his website and social media platforms, watch his music video, check out his live show/tour schedule, and find his contact & booking information. Please support this artist by visiting and sharing his work online, and playing, downloading and/or purchasing his music. And, as always, thank you for supporting real music!
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Email: Noah (at) NoahJamesHittner.com
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