Mood by Noah (Review)

The sort of downtempo music that’s best listened to when you’re too tired to stay awake but not tired enough to go to bed yet.
Mood, Noah

The title of Japanese producer Noah’s latest mixtape — Mood — is quite appropriate. Mixing blurred jazz, R&B, and hip-hop snippets with downtempo atmospherics, her mixtape is not the sort of music that’s best suited for active listening. Rather, these five songs work best when allowed to sink into the background and permeate the surrounding space — including your mind. As such, Mood is best listened to when you’re too tired to stay awake but not yet tired enough to go to bed.

(For me, that’s the weird in-between time in the wee hours of the morning right before I get my second wind.)

There’s a level of sophistication in Noah’s compositions that is nigh-irresistible. Whether it’s the slight piano melodies dancing around her songs’ edges, the saxophone drifting over the vibe-chilled “Plerumque,” or the title track’s sleepwalking through blues-y guitar loops and shimmering sound pools, a definite elegance is at work here. And again, it’s one that’s very amenable to those late/early hours, when thoughts and sensations all start to run together into a unique type of lucidity.

Indeed, I daresay those hours are the only time to listen to these five songs, when your barely conscious self is most open to their effects.

Noah’s debut album, Sivutie, will be released by Flau in June 2015.

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