You can’t have love without at least a little fear. Songwriter Max Satow realizes this and writes about that fear, manifested as paranoia, in the latest single “Paranoid” from New York City’s Noshows. The quintet began life as a solo project for Satow but, as his ambitions evolved, Satow realized the potential benefits of reconstituting Noshows as a genuine musical unit. They have since played well-received shows at several noted venues such as the Bowery Electric and have a string of singles to their credit.
Satow plays guitar and sings. His vocals are airy and possesses a light touch, but he also draws from deep reservoirs of emotion for this track. Nothing about his singing is overwrought though. He inhabits the lyrics for “Paranoid” with a keen understanding of how love catches us with our guard down and often distorts our thinking. The band’s accompaniment embodies that nervous and restless spirit well.
Melody is the single’s primary vehicle. “Paranoid” has a winning melody, both vocal and instrumental, that inhabits the listener’s consciousness with effortless likeability. You’ll likely find yourself humming along within the song’s first minute. It gives Satow an excellent foundation for his singing. Many listeners will definitely appreciate the comforting sway of the vocal melody and how it sweetens the discontent present in the track’s lyrics.
Blending trumpet, guitar, and keyboards into a cohesive musical statement isn’t as easy as Noshows makes it sound. “Paranoid” will strike many as having emerged full-born from Satow’s imagination and that sort of effortless gait is a sign of inspiration working at or near its highest level. It’s obvious that the band, especially Satow, feels this song at the deepest level and the conviction of the performance attests to that.
He's handled the production for Noshows’ prior efforts and the same auditory excellence present in those tracks defines “Paranoid” as well. He’s orchestrated the disparate instruments into a well-rounded listening experience that holds up under repeated plays. This isn’t an one and done track. Satow may be aiming for at least a measure of posterity, but that doesn’t mean there’s any pretentiousness dragging the song down. Far from it.
Despite its quirkiness, Satow and his band mates are clearly reaching for widespread acceptance. It is on their own terms though. Musical artists, as opposed to mere entertainers, follow the sound they hear in their own head and trust in its ability to bring an audience along for the ride. “Paranoid” accomplishes this. The balance between its thorny subject matter and melodic strengths provides us with a fully immersive work of art.
They are gaining momentum with each new release. “Paranoid” will definitely expand their reach and make a bevy of converts. Existing fans will hear a glorious affirmation of why they are following the band and newcomers will rue that it took them so long to discover Noshows’ music. New York City has always been an epicenter for musical creativity, through multiple generations, and Noshows are ready to join the ranks of fantastic bands hailing from the Big
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