Premiere: Cancer, Coping, and Catharsis in Noah Dane’s Stirring Debut “There Goes”

Noah Dane © Montana Lee
Noah Dane captures the pain, fear, and weight of cancer in “There Goes,” a poignant rendering of illness and the limitations of the human spirit.
Stream: “There Goes” – Noah Dane

There goes your strength, there goes your body…

Songs about illness and death seldom make for an easy listen, but they almost always pave the way for a cathartic experience. Life is a truly volatile rollercoaster of upswings and downswings that hit without a moment’s notice: Tragedy, much like fortune, is blind to time and human emotions.

Thankfully, artists like Noah Dane exist who can help us fill in nature’s gaps. The singer/songwriter captures the pain, fear, and weight of cancer in “There Goes,” a poignant rendering of illness and the limitations of the human spirit.

There Goes single art

There Goes – Noah Dane

I’ve heard parasites enter your body
through the heel
Consider this Achilles,
consider this your long
flowing hair and I’m Delilah
There goes your strength,
there goes your body

Sure hope it does heal

Atwood Magazine is proud to be introducing Noah Dane through the premiere of his debut single “There Goes,” out everywhere May 10, 2019. Having recently relocated to Reno, Nevada after growing up on a farm in North Carolina, Dane creates lush folk-infused ambient music full of heart. His debut is understandably heavy and raw; otherwise ethereal tonalities feel strikingly intimate and tangible as the artist croons solemnly about his secondhand experience of cancer and its impact on life.

“A close friend and someone that I look up to tremendously was diagnosed with cancer and underwent surgery and chemotherapy,” Dane tells Atwood Magazine. “‘There Goes’ is about witnessing that and visiting them, otherwise alone, in the hospital on New Year’s Eve. It’s about visiting them in their home and seeing them wretch and writhe. It’s also about the emotional impact of sickness on those afflicted and those who love them, and the impossible weight of healthcare costs in the US.

Noah Dane © Montana Lee

Noah Dane © Montana Lee

It’s about visiting them in their home and seeing them wretch and writhe.

To break into first person for a minute: We live in a broken world, with several faulty and broken systems. No one I have personally come into contact with has undergone a significant or traumatic health-related experience, and come out feeling good about the way the healthcare industry is set up in the United States. It doesn’t work, and it’s going to require a massive overhaul of a multibillion dollar industry and the reversal of the prevailing success equals money mindset in order to begin thinking about an actual fix. If affordable, accessible healthcare is really something an individual wants (and it ought to be a top concern for everyone, but alas…), moving to any number of other countries may be the simpler, albeit bittersweet fix.

Drink tea to help my mood
Defeat, I don’t really want to go
What if my body can’t keep up?
I watched your health leave
I watched your health go
Oh my god I thought I’d seen the worst of it

I watched your health leave; I watched your health go… Oh my god I thought I’d seen the worst of it,” Dane sings, remembering the shocking decline of his friend. Cancer – and the toxins we inject into ourselves, in order to rid the body of it – can often be scarier than death, because it’s death in slow motion. You watch a health individual slowly whittle away, losing their body mass and sometimes undergoing drastic personality changes in the process.

And yet, Dane’s pain somehow helps us confront our own. He sugarcoats nothing, washing his words in a lush trench of background synthesizers and pulsing guitars that engulf our ears in humble, helpless aching. Not once does “There Goes” hope to fix the situation, or claim that things could somehow be better. The song simply recoils with the force of each successive blow to the gut: Watching as things get progressively worse.

I watched your health leave
It’s in the simplest of things
Oh my god I thought
I’d seen the worst of it, the worst of it
Like a ghost in your youth,
it came back to you

You don’t need to know cancer in order to bask in Noah Dane’s stirring music. It can be any obstacle at all – from a lost love, to the destruction of a childhood home, to moving or things simply changing, and feeling like you’re losing your grip on the world and the people you once knew. “There Goes” implores us to use our pain as “a catalyst for growth”: To come away from our experiences of illness or death with a renewed hold on life.

Noah Dane begins his story with another’s ending, instilling in listeners a deeper appreciation for all that we have, which we so often take for granted. No, it’s not an easy listen, but this song is a guaranteed cathartic experience for all who need that emotional release. Stream “There Goes” exclusively on Atwood Magazine, and if you have a relative or loved one suffering an illness, give them a call or pay them a visit: It means so much more than you will ever know.

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Stream: “There Goes” – Noah Dane

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📸 © Montana Lee

Mitch Mosk

Mitch is the Editor-in-Chief of Atwood Magazine and a 2014 graduate from Tufts University, where he pursued his passions of music and psychology. He currently works at Universal Music Group in New York City. In his off hours, Mitch may be found songwriting, wandering about one of New York's many neighborhoods, or writing an article on your next favorite artist for Atwood. Mitch's words of wisdom to fellow musicians and music lovers are thus: Keep your eyes open and never stop exploring. No matter where you go, what you do or who you are with, you can always learn something new and inspire something amazing. Say hi here: mitch[at]atwoodmagazine[dot]com