My Inspiration: Noah Lawson – When The Night Goes To Sleep | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Hexham-based musician Noah Lawson recently released his second album, When The Night Goes To Sleep, an album about the dawn hours and the inspiration it brings. It’s an album with varied musical styles from the synth-fuelled to the ambient acoustic to a bit of lof-fi indie loveliness, all of which creates an intriguing and evocative sonic journey that is filled with some really nice melodies and plenty of charm. 

Here, Noah tells us more about what inspired tracks on the album…

When The Night Goes To Sleep is so-called because most of the tracks were written during and or about the very early hours of the morning. At that time of day, the birds begin singing, the world feels totally quiet and empty, and my mind seems to find a lot of creative inspiration in thinking about the past. The album title comes from the lyrics of track four on the record, so let’s start there.

In The Night
In The Night came together extremely quickly. I woke up at 1:30 am one day in lockdown and, having failed to get back to sleep by 3, I decided to get up and write, record and produce a song. By 7 am the track was recorded, by 9 am it was mixed, and by noon it was on Facebook. When putting the album together, I did master the track a little, but it was basically all done in about 7 hours straight. The funny thing about this song that I maybe shouldn’t admit is that I used an AI lyric generator to create the lyrics. It’s called These Lyrics Do Not Exist, go look it up it’s great fun! Basically, I kept putting the word “night ” into the lyric generator and pulling out phrases that I thought sounded poetic, then stitched some of those phrases together to create the lyrics to the song. Cheating? Maybe, but in my defence, I was on a time limit, and the lyric generator did inspire creativity!

Small Fish
In contrast, the opening track on the album took over a decade to come to fruition. The main synth riff in “Small Fish” is very old, I wrote it when I was about 12 or 13 (I’m now 24). I think that an instrument is often the initial inspiration for my tracks, there are several examples of that on the album, whether it be the unusual guitar tuning on “Loved Me Still” or the malleted drums of “Legion Of Pine”. In this case, I had bought my first keyboard with my own money and found a cool synth sound that inspired the Small Fish riff. It was also inspired by the track “Kids” by MGMT, which was a song that all the cool kids at school listened to back then. When I came to mixing the track over ten years later, I used “Kids” as my reference track, trying to get the same crunchy drum sound, toasty synth bass, and generally playful vibe. The breakdown to piano and synth bass was inspired by Jack Garratt’s track “Chemical”; I love that contrast between all the synths switching abruptly to an acoustic piano, from clinical to homely. I bought a beaten up piano from my old school in lockdown when we couldn’t have a professional piano tuner in the house, so I tuned it myself, hence the slightly clashy low A flat!

What Will I Do
Most often my primary inspiration for a piece of music is an emotion. However, sometimes exhibits of someone else’s incredible creativity serve as a pilot flame to my own productivity. With this track, both things coincided. In the summer of 2021, my guide dog was diagnosed with a large tumour and was operated on at very short notice. For a couple of months, it was uncertain whether he would survive, and the prospect of losing my constant companion of 7 years was torturous. (Before I go on, I should say that he has made a full recovery!) One night during this very emotionally charged period I watched “Bohemian Rhapsody”, the Queen film. I’ve always been a Queen fan, and seeing this display of such sheer creativity, drive and virtuosity inspired me to immediately sit down at the keyboard and write the music for “What Will I Do”. The lyrics came a little later; I remember lying in bed singing the chorus to my dog as I wrote them. Production wise, the track is based on Keane’s “Hopes and Fears” album, but really this song is born out of a heart rending time and a compelling documentary about an inspiring band.

The launch gig for the album will take place on Friday the 29th of July at Core Music, Hexham. Book your free tickets on Eventbrite. For updates on my music, follow me on Facebook and Instagram, @noahlawsonmusic.

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