Noah Slee, the Tongan born, New Zealand raised, Berlin-based songwriter and multi-instrumentalist has been sending music critics gaga the past few months with his constant slew of incredible releases. As premiered by Nylon Magazine and out today, Noah unearths "Radar" the final single to be taken from his forthcoming epic debut album "Otherland".
Likened by tastemakers to such luminaries as Anderson Paak, Kaytranada, Andre 3000 and Chance The Rapper, Noah describes his aspirational conception of house inspired, dance anthem "Radar" as seminal, "Radar is paying homage to all the dope musicians paving away at their creations. For me creation and performance are the highlight and why I still love doing music. But for sure the journey gets tough and realities and standard life shit can weigh you down. I remember writing the hook and being ok and satisfied that I can do this among all the challenges that I've faced. Radar started as an acoustic guitar song that then became this upbeat tune that no matter how often I've already heard it (shot a music video, heard it x1000000) I still wanna dance. Which is important.....music + dance = life"
Noah Slee’s hotly anticipated, debut "Otherland" album is a deep, existential body of work. Reflecting upon past life experiences, incorporating contemporary and traditional sounds into his aesthetic, Noah is a creative original. Recording new material reflective of the transient artists sentimental and thoughtful character, incorporating influences from Noah's roots and the international vibe of cultures he has explored and adored, his high energy approach to composing killer, chill compilations is effortless. Producing this latest 12-track LP with producer Ben Esser, both musicians bonded off the back of the "Rampant Wild Free"; An inspired connection was forged between these multi-instrumentalists, as they communicated through rhythm and sound space.
“Otherland” is a soulful exploration of freedom and spiritual progression. Writing an explicit, diary-like account of Noahs sexual awakening and self-discovery, the Tongan native wrestles his conscience on record, as he speaks honestly about the intimate moral conflicts he experiences each day. Standout track "Told” is a poignant ode to self, a stream of consciousness in which Noah accepts himself as a gay man, communicating the need for his families affirmation in the light of this brave disclosure. Head bobbing, paced electronic beats drift beneath Noah’s musings, a sense of life’s greater plan weaves each track to the next. Poetic imagery dawns on each and every song's intro, metaphorical of the new beginnings which will rise, chorus to chorus, song to song, sentiment to soliloquy, morning to night.
Collaborating with Activist Alice, indigenous Aboriginal and spoken word artist, a tribal aesthetic provides a meditative interlude building into “Reality", a piano led ballad which features further Kiwi crafted talented in the form of Jordan Rakei. Speaking on the strong track Noah comments “This is all about my acceptance, awareness and just having perspective on whatever comes my way. This album focusses on being still and silent. It's about my soul, energy and offers a little window into my spiritual journey thus far.”
Sensual and slow winding love song "Lips" changes up the LPs soulful pace, exploring more intimate tempos and demonstrating Noah’s ability to write, sing and perform with flair and multi-BPM dexterity. Love, passion, epiphanies and self-belief theme the LPs lyrical content. “l can remember writing ‘Sunrise' after too many long nights spent out in a row. I just felt like my body and soul needed love and light for change, 'it's just one of them days'.” Noah’s poetry and heightened emotional intelligence benefit the deeper meanings which weave each track to another narrating his right of passage moment.
Influenced by Bob Marley, Marvin Gaye, Billie Holiday and Fela Kuti; Thom Yorke's "The Eraser" is the integral track which Noah cites as formative to the sound he came to compose today. Interested in the wider environment music can create, the charged moods and heightened emotion which can be conjured up in just the click of a play tab, Noah's sound is distinctively introspective. Mourning the death of friends past, remembering nights which never ended and communicating his appreciation of the gift of life, an artful interpretation of our connection to the earth is brought to life through moving chords and melodies on "Otherland".
An understated talent, celebrated by taste-making platform Boiler Room and Majestic Casual, Noah ambitions for success are rooted in remaining true to himself through the music. Relocating to Berlin from Brisbane, Noah plays everywhere across his beloved 'second home' from basement parties to Berghain, endeavouring to translate the music he makes to fit the crowd he draws in. Noahs passion is rooted with connecting to his audience and establishing the kind of relationship which feels safe and inspirational, kindled between just him and us. "Otherland" is an exceptionally important album which adheres to neither trend nor genre, an epic journey of an LP in which dawns truth, hope and serenity.