Noah Francis Johnson , the former boxer in a previous life, returns with new material in the form of a four song EP, and once again decides to bear his heart and soul. The man is so full of energy and passion that he’s barely left a moment between his debut album Life and Times, and bringing out his new material; this is a benefit to fans of Noah, because the EP is just as catchy and thought provoking as his last record.
Bleed kicks off proceedings in typical Noah fashion, a story song showcasing snippets of the singer’s life. It gradually builds up with vocals reminiscent of Paul Weller, getting more strained and emotional as the song rolls on; if this was compared to a fight, the singer really ups his game in the final rounds. You can tell this track really means something to Noah, and with its base of lyrics focusing on the singer’s upbringing, it has a strong effect on the listener: ‘You showed me where to stand, you showed me how to fight, you taught me how to steal, you showed me how to lie’.
For a Long Time mixes in political messages with religious undertones and crisp vocals – a trick Noah has used before and has really developed into an art form. With its steady guitar, and folky connotations, Noah draws on the protest songs of the 60s to great effect, made even more pleasant with the sporadic use of harmonica.
I’ve Been Thinking continues the honest feel of the EP, by setting up against a blues backdrop with fuzzy vocals and a stripped back feel. The song reminds you of a 90s Lenny Kravitz, and Noah’s derogatory laugh as he sings of rich houses being lit up like Christmas trees is a nice touch.
We finish off the EP with Harvest Tree, which encapsulates emotion and melody in one beautiful send off, and makes the simple seem magical. There’s not much wrong with this small collection of songs, and it just goes to show that the singer must have been bursting at the seams with so many ideas after his debut album, that he just had to get a few out there as soon as he could. Noah’s charm is is his honesty, and the world can look forward to his next full album with great anticipation if Harvest Tree EP is anything to go by.