Noble Oak dives into his beautifully intimate and breathtakingly expansive fourth album ‘When It Finds You,’ a tender, soulful collection of golden-hued indie pop reveries ready to soothe and stir the soul.
for fans of Leif Vollebekk, Tom Iansek, Bear’s Den
Stream: “Eveningstar” – Noble Oak
And I found my voice, but it sounds different now than ever before. And I feel it’s coming, how, I don’t ever really know…
Born out of moments of introspection and heartfelt human connection, Noble Oak’s fourth album glows with deep passion and reads like a diary.
This is a soundtrack to the artist’s own self-discovery; the music of deep reflections and daydreams, embracing those fleeting, special moments in life when inspiration hits, and everything falls into place for just long enough that we can break through the noise and experience true clarity. Beautifully intimate and breathtakingly expansive, When It Finds You is a tender, soulful collection of golden-hued indie pop reveries ready to soothe and stir the soul.
If my beating heart goes cold
Will I see you before I get old?
Or now, just waiting to die
Find some way to be alive
When I think of how I never get
To hold you in my arms again
The memory of you becomes a shining light
When you were in my life
Give a little, get a lot
When they tell you it’s all you’ve got
You carry it around with you Don’t you now?
Oh Don’t you now
What’s your story? People say
When they’re waking, the day is breaking away
And you’re feeling like you lost your mind…
– “Eveningstar,” Noble Oak
Released July 7, 2023 via Last Gang Records / MNRK, When It Finds You is Noble Oak’s stunning fourth studio album. It’s been two full years since Noble Oak’s last offering – 2021’s instrumental piano EP, Stories – and three years since his last commercial pop release, June 2020’s Horizon, which Exclaim! lauded for breathing “fresh air into the electronic dream pop world.” The musical moniker for Vancouver-based multi-instrumentalist singer/songwriter Patrick Fiore, Noble Oak can always be trusted to dazzle the ears and sway the soul, and his new record is no exception.
“I think I didn’t know exactly how this record would turn out when I began it, but it became quite evident over its growth how it would need to be,” Fiore tells Atwood Magazine. “My only vision was for these songs to represent the next phase of my musical life, but none of us foresaw a global pandemic and life-upheaval of that scale. As the nature of how we navigated the world underwent a massive change, so too did my ability to create songs. The final vision began to emerge when I found there was good sonic cohesion between a number of the songs that would make it onto the album, and after some track revisions with the label folks we eventually found its final form.”
Songwriting is a deeply visceral experience for Fiore, who returned in a fever dream of heart and heat this past February with “Tides Turn,” a wistful, dulcet daydream with a lush and tender glow. “Listening to Noble Oak’s new song feels like you’re bearing witness to a soul’s realignment,” Atwood Magazine wrote at the time, praising the song as a spiritual enchantment drenched in reverb and soaked in visceral emotion. “[Fiore’s] radiant tenor is a light and gentle beacon of sweetly soothing energy, putting into words this intangible experience we feel deep down inside.”
March’s follow-up “Anywhere But Here” kept the flames burning bright as Fiore explored an array of escapist emotions and anxiety through glistening pop melodies and “watercolour soundscapes,” as he calls them. A song about finding “somewhere that both serves as a comfort and a dream of a place we may never reach again,” “Anywhere But Here” became a sanctuary of its own for Noble Oak’s fans as they found in it an escape of their very own.
As it happened, some time away proved essential to rekindling Fiore’s fire and bringing these songs to life. He describes When It Finds You as a “reflective, exploratory, and soothing album.
“It became quite apparent over the last few years that I was in need of a good deal of creative rest,” he explains. “The timing was oddly well-aligned with the slowdown of the world during the pandemic, and it also gave rise to the fact that inspiration is not a finite resource, or a guarantee. After making songs constantly for about 10 years, some level of reset is required. The formula needed to undergo some changes. This slowdown highlighted the magnificence of those special fleeting moments when inspiration manages to find us through various means, or when we manage to find it. The album title reflects that sentiment.”
“I certainly feel [this album] reminds folks that music is a very personal and vulnerable thing to me, and that there should never be any shame around it. I feel that I go rather emotionally deep on this record, in a more consistent way than my past albums. I think it also carries both the weight and the lightness of the changes brought about by the last few years.”
Opening and closing with the cinematic bookmarks “takeoff” and “landing,” When It Finds You proves an enchanting and immersive journey full of moving sonic climaxes and emotional highs. Noble Oak plays the part of dreamweaver as he crafts songs like sculptures, his voice a radiant beacon glistening full of light and love alongside shimmering keys, guitars, drums, and more. Highlights range from the atmospheric and ethereal “The Truth” and the warm, wondrous “Different Type of Rain,” to the comforting and uplifting “Your Favourite Place” and the heartfelt, inspiring “Eveningstar.”
“Your Favourite Place” is another epic eruption pouring out of Patrick Fiore’s inner sanctum: A smoldering seduction of intimacy, connection, comfort, and longing. Fiore describes is as an analysis of our defense mechanisms and current working environment, with a call to the respite of a safer human world. “It’s about the desire to return to a place of comfort,” he tells Atwood Magazine. “You’re trying to find optimism in places you might not usually find it. For a long time, I was very optimistic, and I still am. Part of me is somewhat unchanged. However, there’s a realistic aspect of myself that’s emerged. It’s a balance.”
A lush, cinematic production of radiant keys, glowing guitars, and pulsing drums creates an anthem of warmth and wonder, out of which Fiore’s golden vocals soar with resounding strength and conviction. He hits his high in the chorus, which serves as both musical and emotional climax:
Oh won’t you take me to your favourite place
Down past the water where the world turns gray
With you by my side I know I’ll find a way
Oh when I’m with you all my fears displace
I start believing everything’s okay
With you by my side I know i’ll find a way
As far as his own highlights are concerned, Fiore has quite a few to name. “I’ve mentioned in passing to some (online and in person) that ‘Eveningstar’ is my personal favourite on the record, but I do also hold ‘Moment 91,’ ‘Broken Window,’ and ‘Tides Turn’ very close to my heart.”
His album’s lyrics are a point of personal pride as well. “I suppose I have tried more earnestly to present my thoughts this way,” he reflects. “One of my favourite lines that also aligns with the album’s ethos is the first part of ‘Anywhere But Here,’ which says “it’s hard to find the words/ that i mean to say/ floating in the void/ for me to find one day.” Additionally, I constructed ‘Eveningstar’ largely around the lines of “when I think of how I never get/ to hold you in my arms again,” as I reflected on a feeling of loss. I felt that line come on quite strongly and wanted to serve it well with a song.”
When It Finds You might be an album of rumination and searching, but the ultimate impact is one of unfiltered, unadulterated euphoria.
Noble Oak’s new songs are life-giving, uplifting, and energizing moments of raw humanity set to a gorgeous soundtrack. Patrick Fiore has without a doubt found his voice anew, and in sharing that personal nirvana with the world, he has given us, through his music, the tools to find our own special moments of inspiration and to harness the magic within ourselves.
“I always hope my albums find and create a special place with its listeners, and in the case of When It Finds You, I hope they’re invited to consider how inspiration finds them and meets them,” Fiore shares. “There’s a great catharsis in self-reflection and I believe this album might help some folks get to that place.”
“As far as how it’s been from my view, this album has been a life raft for me in many ways over the years. In truth this album was projected for release much earlier, but the world had other plans. Creating it felt easy in the moment but quite difficult in hindsight, and the album underwent several track revisions before it finally was released. It’s made me realize how important and special the creative act really is, and that my hunger for inspiration is driven by that desire to create. I also think that this might be the last record I create entirely on my own — I’m looking at the next project being a collaborative one.”
Experience the full record via our below stream, and peek inside Noble Oak’s When It Finds You with Atwood Magazine as Patrick Fiore goes track-by-track through the music and lyrics of his fourth studio album!
When It Finds You is out now via Last Gang Records / MNRK.
Stream: ‘When It Finds You’ – Noble Oak
:: Inside When It Finds You ::
The plane leaves the earth, the journey is set in motion. As an invitation into the world of this album, this song brings listeners a gentle salve to gain entry. One of the newest songs on the album, written in late 2021.
anywhere but here
This was the newest song to be written and added to the record. It was built off a piano line I’d written in 2020 but wasn’t developed until early 2022. A reflection of our desires to move about through the world and find a place that resonates deeply with us.
Written entirely in one day in August 2019, this was a reflection on the summer sensation of living freely and with a dose of reckless abandon. This song is a personal reminder of a powerful moment when “it” found me.
More a sonic meditation than anything, this piece came about also in a single day while experimenting with some new synth sounds. Inspired by the mental imagery of being lost in a dark place with no desire to be found.
A simple reflection on the quest for believable things. Part of the creative burst I had in late-summer 2019, this was one of the earliest tracks to make the album. I wanted it to carry a gently curious feeling.
let it out
A seasonal shift, this was written in the fall of 2019 after the summer’s emotional charge began to fade and I examined my last few months in an honest breath. This was originally going to be left off the album but I eventually felt compelled to keep it on.
The midpoint of the journey. A palate cleanser and introspective moment without words, coming from my own introspection about the summer’s events.
This one came in the summer of 2020 as I watched the events of someone’s life unfold on social media. As implied, it felt like observing their world through a broken window, carrying our distance heavily. I certainly yearned for a time that the distance was not so great.
A reflection on the future, and a strange prophecy as it would turn out. “2 more years / what could be? / no one knows / that’s the mystery”. Indeed I had no idea what would our world would be like two years from this song’s inception in late 2019. The number 91 implies that there have been many moments just like this one, too many to count. It could have been any number but 91 seemed correct.
different type of rain
This was written in the span of a single night in the fall of 2020. After spending time with someone on a beach that night while a lightning storm carried on in the distance, I felt immediately charged with this song.
The second-newest song to be added to the record, this was a reflection on the loss of relationship I thought would be significant but only lasted a few months. The concept then expanded to other areas of my life and grew in scope. Written over the course of two days in early winter 2020, it managed to become my favourite track on the album.
your favourite place
Recalling the feeling of being where it feels right, this song is an immersion of sorts and invites the listener to picture themself standing at the edge of the sea. It was spun up over the course of a day in fall 2020.
The end of the journey, the plane touching down. An invitation to consider “what does it mean to you”, following the intake of everything that just happened. This piece was originally titled “takeoff” before the song that would actually become “takeoff” was written. It became clear that this song feels more at home at the end, and thus the titles were switched.
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© Scott Wong
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