Review: Folk Singer Noah Kahan’s New Album ‘Stick Season’

“Stick Season” is a great backtrack for the fall and winter season.


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NEW YORK, NY Noah Kahan performs on stage at Brooklyn Steel on March 1, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Jacqueline Romano/Getty Images)

by Annella Lyon, Reporter

Noah Kahan released his new album titled “Stick Season” on October 24 of this year. It highlights his times living in New England and focuses on transitions and reflection, which is a theme that is visible repeatedly throughout the album. 

“Stick Season” the album uses a mix of folk and rock elements to create a beautifully atmospheric sound that adds to the Northeastern vibe that this collection of music has orchestrated.  

The album starts with the song “Northern Attitude,” which includes faster paced guitar and organ.  It talks about growing up in New England and how that affects Kahan’s personality. This song in particular would be great to blast in the car during a fall drive through the mountains and sounds like it belongs in a coming of age movie.

The song repeats the phrase “forgive my northern attitude” meaning to forgive the narrator for being so cold – it is just the culture of where he happened to be raised. “Northern Attitude” is the perfect beginning of this memorable album and really sets the tone to what you are about to listen to. 

Then in the song “Stick Season,” which carries the title of the album, tells about Vermont and the time between Halloween and the first snow. Kahan says how it is a time of change and mentions how depressing that time can be. The song has upbeat guitar strumming and good lyrics that capture the “season of the sticks” so well; lyrics I especially like are “I am terrified of weather ‘cause I see you when it rains” and “It’s half my fault, but I just like to play the victim.” The song tells a story through its lyrics that I think are really impressionable to the audience.    

My personal favorite songs of the album are “Orange Juice” and “Strawberry Wine,” which fall back to back on the album. 

“Orange Juice” is about a recovering alcoholic and providing a space to help them overcome their addiction. This song, although dealing with a heavier subject, sounds very uplifting. With dramatic drums, mixed with soft guitar strumming and banjo, the song has a very nostalgic and crisp sound.

The song “Strawberry Wine” has a more somber feeling, as it alludes to the death of someone extremely close to the narrator. Featuring soft guitar and light drumming in the background, “Strawberry Wine” is a gloomy yet comforting song. 

The whole album was released just in time to be the perfect background for fall or winter. It has folk and rock elements that blend perfectly with the overarching message of the album. “Stick Season” is a great listen and an amazing album.