Editorial – Amber Waves; Photography – J.J. Deogracias
It’s 12:30am. My alarm clock is set for the dreaded day job for 7am and I’m a good hour+ from home. In this moment, I’m wide awake and can’t make myself care.
Noel Johnson is on stage, you see, capping off an excellent night of music.
Bathed in red light in a venue otherwise pitch-black, the ambience itself seemed to stress what the music itself made obvious: stop and pay attention. Running through a set filled with tracks from forthcoming album The Remedy, Johnson had the late-night enthusiasts eating out of his hand. Be it a sweet rocking tune like “Roses and Bottles” or the musician’s revenge against a nasty former friend, “Smack Talk”, Johnson and band delivered a set that was tight and polished. “The Remedy” remains one of my favourites among the new songs, simply for its hopeful light-amongst-darkness outlook and the vibe of gently rolling waves in the melodic structure. The sincerity rings out in his voice, insecurity laid bare. It’s incredibly engaging for a listener.
One senses that this album is where Johnson is truly hitting his stride, that great things are so very possible. I’m very much looking forward to 2013’s chapter of Noel’s musical journey.
Much more to come in our Farewell to CMW 2013 galleries!