Single Review: Paul Noonan – Moth to Your Flame

By on Tuesday, 6th November 2018 at 12:00 pm
 

Irish singer/songwriter Paul Noonan best known to TGTF readers as frontman to alt-rock band Bell X1, has recently been immersing himself in an array of side projects, including a collaboration with fellow Irish artist Daithí called ‘Take the Wheel’ and work with the Side 4 Collective on a track called ‘The Flood’. Following on those forays, Noonan released a new solo song at the beginning of October, titled ‘Moth to Your Flame’.

‘Moth to Your Flame’ has a distinctly and deliberately synthetic feel to its production from the very beginning, with electronic instrumentation and layered vocal overdubs throughout the mix. This is not entirely unfamiliar territory for Noonan, as anyone who’s listened to Bell X1’s back catalogue will realise. Most recently, the band’s 2016 LP ‘Arms’ featured moments of this kind of experimental production, which came as a bit of a jolt after the more organic nature of previous release ‘Chop Chop’.

The choice to take a more electronically-orientated tack seems more of an aesthetic choice for Noonan than one made by necessity due to the complex arrangement and the solo nature of the project. He has once again enlisted the production talents of Thomas Bartlett (The Gloaming), though this time, Noonan says, the pair worked remotely to put the track together. “’Moth to Your Flame’ was made by myself and Thomas Bartlett of New York City, like Anne Bancroft and Anthony Hopkins in 84 Charing Cross Road, trading musical parts over the Atlantic on t’internet. It was the first tune finished of an ongoing collaboration, and I’m delighted to finally show it off.”

The quirky musical arrangement of ‘Moth to Your Flame’ consists of equal parts angular keyboard riff and jagged vocal melody, and Noonan’s lilting vocal tone blends as well with this synthetic backdrop as it has in more acoustic-based settings. His lyrics are, as ever, idiosyncratic and a bit self-conscious, vaguely recalling a number of songs he’s written in the past. But the context is different enough here to be compelling, and to make me wonder exactly which direction Noonan is headed. The About section of his Facebook page references a forthcoming solo EP titled ‘Push Puppets’, so perhaps we’ll find out sooner rather than later.

8/10

‘Moth to Your Flame’, the new single from Irish singer/songwriter Paul Noonan, is out now on Bone China Records.

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