No debut LP on the horizon just yet, but Noah Chenfeld extends his successful two-year string of solo pop-rock singles with “Stop the Bus.”
Listen: “Stop the Bus” – Noah Chenfeld
A proud New York native—although he’s also channeled his love for nearby Boston in his music—Noah Chenfeld has spent the last couple years developing an “ever-evolving sound that still captures the essence of living in New York City.”
Chenfeld has been active in music since age 10 and formed a band called the Box Story with his brother Dylan as a teenager. One of their proudest achievements was scoring a feature in the Cartoon Network movie Contest with their song “Above the Noise.” The two continue to perform together under a new moniker, Rebounder.
Chenfeld made his way up to the Berklee College of Music in Boston for three semesters and then joined a number of bands on tour, including his fellow New York-based rock acts Blonder and Obliques. In 2018, Chenfeld began releasing music under his own name, starting with an ode to his old college town. He’s since built up his catalog incrementally with upbeat rock-pop hybrid pieces like “Lucy” and “Wind Speed,” the latter of which is accompanied by a nifty stop-motion music video. Chenfeld has also succeeded in scoring some live gigs across his native city and teamed up onstage with a handful of prominent figures in the local New York rock scene, including Vlad Holiday and Suzanne Vega of “Tom’s Diner” fame.
Up next from Chenfeld is “a lyrically stream-of-consciousness song, with distorted guitar, driving keys, and hard-hitting drums, taking inspiration from new wave, power pop and indie rock.” This, in any case, is how he personally describes his latest single, “Stop the Bus.”
It’s a song that borrows distinctly from the singer’s previous work. Once again, his inner Boston Boy comes through (“Stop the bus at Harvard Square” is the song’s opening lyric) as does the knack for crafting pop-friendly garage rock that he demonstrated on tracks like “Lucy,” except with a bit of keyboard-playing sprinkled in this time. This impressive musical concoction can be attributed to Chenfeld’s collaborators Ray Aldaco (sound engineer), Cobey Arner (drums), Campbell Phelan (guitar), and Lenny Weissman (keys), with Chenfeld rocking the mic and the bass.
“I sometimes find strange coincidences happen to me more often than not,” he says, explaining the inspiration for “Stop the Bus.” “Could they be the work of a higher power? The moon and the tides? Just chance? I can’t help but feel something else at work as I listen back to the song.”
Across the 3-minute power ballad, Chenfeld elaborates on this daily life routine that he feels certain must be preordained. “Lying, cheating bastards— they get everywhere,” he bemoans. And all the while, “Again and again, I get back up. Again and again, I fall.” He has no idea how to break out of this cycle, which results in the song’s central lyric: “I find it hard to believe that the world would fall asleep” and become so indifferent to his ongoing plight.
That feeling of hopelessness is contrasted by the high-octane rock that accompanies the lyrics, as well as the closing sentiment that appears in the song’s dying moments: “I’m sure we’ll escape this whole wide world.” Such juxtaposition is enough to make this quite an intriguing track thematically. Musically, it’s top-shelf material from a guy who has spent most of his life developing his skills as a rock performer and now has plenty of goods to show for it.
The music video, directed by Chenfeld’s previous collaborator Louis Sensano, follows a you-could-make-this-too-you-know format by featuring a bunch of footage seemingly shot with a home camera inside of a local karaoke bar. Chenfeld’s friend Rachel Coster— who likewise has drifted between Boston for school and NYC for her performing career— is featured lip-syncing the song’s lyrics while clutching the karaoke mic. Chenfeld himself can be briefly seen sporting his signature New York Knicks collar shirt before disappearing behind the curtain for a bit of smooching. Overall, the video succeeds at capturing the joyful escapism that the track itself was always meant to convey.
“I hope this song can help people remember what life was like before and deliver a little bit of hope for the future,” Chenfeld explains. “Or maybe it’s just another up-beat song to bob your head to. What do I know?“
Have a listen and you can conclude your own opinion.
Listen: “Stop the Bus” – Noah Chenfeld
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