13 Beats: Noah Kahan Edition

13 Beats: Noah Kahan Edition

Felicia Paul, Staff Writer

In honor of Noah Kahan releasing his album “Stick Season” earlier this month, here are some of the top hits and most influential songs from this rising artist.

1. Busyhead – Noah Kahan (2019)
The title song off of Kahan’s first album, “Busyhead,” explores the whirlwind of thoughts that goes through one’s head while moving through the world. The track is bittersweet in its lyricism, yet upbeat and inspiring in its instrumentals, which capture the overall feel of the album well. The chorus repeats, “you’re all alone inside your busyhead,” to emphasize the cycle of getting lost in one’s mind while trying to interact with the world.

2. Passenger – Noah Kahan (2017)

“Tell me it won’t hurt, now I’m your passenger,” croons Kahan, expressing the feelings of helplessness that come with surrendering to one’s partner in a relationship. As a song off of Kahan’s first EP, “Hurt Somebody,” “Passenger” has the recognizable, bright folk and pop blend that much of his music contains.

3. Stick Season – Noah Kahan (2022)

One of Kahan’s biggest hits, “Stick Season” is the title and second track of the singer’s newest album. Kahan uses “Stick Season,” the period in Vermont between the time when the autumn leaves finish falling and the first snow, as a metaphor for the transition after a relationship. He describes feeling pain, but pushes to move on in lyrics like “I’m split in half, but that’ll have to do.” The song has gained traction on social media platforms such as TikTok, where creators have impressed Kahan with their covers and own renditions of the song.

4. Anyway – Noah Kahan (2020)

“Anyway” is slower and rawer than much of Kahan’s music, which matches the folk vibe of “Cape Elizabeth,” the EP that the song is on. The track is emotional and heartwarming, as it shows the concern that Kahan has for his lover and his attempts to comfort her.  

5. Tough (feat. Noah Kahan) – Quinn XCII, Noah Kahan (2019)

Quinn XCII features Kahan on this track where the artists open up about the mental toll that toxic masculinity can take. Kahan adds an element of folk to Quinn XCII’s typical EDM sound, which creates a lyrically and musically rich collaboration.

6. Homesick – Noah Kahan (2022)

“Homesick” dives into the internal battle between loving and hating while living in a small town. Lyrics such as: “I’m tired of dirt roads named after high school friends’ grandfathers” capture the bubble-like atmosphere of small towns such as Kahan’s childhood home in Strafford, Vermont. He even says his “meanness” comes from him growing up in a small, New England town. 

7. Godlight – Noah Kahan (2021)

Kahan delves into the intricacies of being a public figure in “Godlight.” Lyrics such as, “It’s hard to say who you’ll be when they let those big red curtains close,” illustrate the artist’s feelings of losing himself in his fame. This track and the album it belongs to, “I Was/I Am,” are more poppy than the rest of Kahan’s discography, but the rhythm of his guitar still anchors the song well. 

8. Hurt Somebody – Noah Kahan, Julia Michaels (2017)

“Cause it hurts when you hurt somebody,” repeats throughout the chorus of this track, describing the fear of hurting the other person in a relationship that needs to end. Pop sensation Julia Michaels is featured, and she adds a higher-pitched voice to complement Kahan’s on the title song of his first EP.

9. Mess – Noah Kahan (2019)

Honest yet upbeat, “Mess” is another track from “Busyhead” that is relatable for all listeners alike. The track chronicles feelings of nostalgia about Kahan’s life before his fame and the overall chaos of growing into adulthood. He drives this yearning for home with the first line of each chorus: “I’ll move back home forever, I’ll feed the dogs and I’ll put all my pieces back together.”

10. Caves – Noah Kahan (2021)

“Caves” details a relationship where both people are holding on because they are too afraid to end it. “I wanna break this to you honestly, I’m afraid,” among other lyrics, show the emotional fear behind ending a relationship in which both people are invested. Another track off of “I Was/I Am,” the song blends folk and pop for a bright and rich listening experience. 

11. Crazier Things (with Noah Kahan) – Chelsea Cutler, Noah Kahan (2020)

“Somehow, I knew someday this would hurt ‘cause I could never let you go,” sing Cutler and Kahan, in this song full of emotion about missing someone that you are still in love with. Kahan immerses his voice into Cutler’s calm pop style to create a beautifully sad track.

12. Young Blood – Noah Kahan (2019)

Kahan pours many raw emotions and experiences into this anthem that urges the listener to make the most of each moment. The chorus echoes “Keep your time, keep your mind, keep humble,” which serves as Kahan’s mantra to remember where he came from and to not take his fame and career for granted. 

13. Northern Attitude – Noah Kahan (2022)

The opening track of “Stick Season,” “Northern Attitude,” is full of folk sounds and reverb, contributing to the album’s overall mood. The song serves as an explanation for Kahan’s demeanor and an ode to people who struggle with seasonal depression. Lines like “Forgive my northern attitude, I was raised on little light,” illustrate the effect that a place can have on the way a person moves through the world, fitting into Kahan’s overall message in this album.