Vancouver’s Noble Oak paints an ambient defiance of structures and rules in his ethereal new song “Morning,” a wake-up call to break the mold.
Stream: “Morning” – Noble Oak
‘Morning’ is a hymn to the entrapment we feel in our lives, and the way we limit ourselves in the silent pursuit of conformity.
Who says there’s only one way to be; that you have to move in a certain direction throughout your life? Vancouver’s Noble Oak paints an ambient defiance of structures and rules in his ethereal new song “Morning,” a wake-up call for us to break the mold.
don’t be scared, it’s only your life now
it’s always the same line you’ve always heard
don’t be scared, i feel there’s an ocean
between us, a never-ending cycle of fears
i have about you
Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “Morning,” the third single off Noble Oak’s upcoming label debut album Horizon (slated for a Spring 2020 release via Last Gang Records – home to Rhye, Chromeo, Sango, and more). Following 2019’s pre-release singles “Evaporate” and “In Series,” “Morning” arrives alongside a music video directed by critically acclaimed filmmaker Nancy Lee and Noble Oak’s official album announcement: While Vancouver’s Patrick Fiore has been making music under the name Noble Oak for nearly a decade, Horizon – set to be his fourth full-length album – will be his first with label support.
Even a passing listen to Fiore’s work over the past ten years showcases the artist’s development, with regard as much to his own songs as to the record studio itself. Noble Oak’s latest songs bear a clarity of sound and thought that was just beginning to take shape in 2011’s No Bloke, and could already be felt to a heightened degree on 2017’s Collapsing Together.
“Morning” is an ideal apotheosis of Noble Oak’s artistic journey to date, highlighting everything there is to admire in Fiore’s creative mind. Driving piano riffs meld with pulsing drums and hazy, atmospheric guitars to deliver an entrancing 80-second introduction. By the time Fiore’s voice high tenor sings his first few lines, “Don’t be scared, it’s only your life now,” the listener is already immersed in the music – ready to be taken on whatever journey the artist has in store.
“’Morning’ is a hymn to the entrapment we feel in our lives, and the way we limit ourselves in the silent pursuit of conformity,” Noble Oak tells Atwood Magazine. “The idea that this is all we have, a vessel and a role. We receive a new day to face ourselves again. Where will we take it? It can feel oftentimes overwhelming to consider. The song also speaks on the idea of keeping each other safeguarded from hearsay, and the perils of our own minds. The idea that it’s crazy to think you’re going crazy, or that you’re only lost because the people around you may be, too.”
Noble Oak’s vocals fly into a breathless falsetto as he comes to a climax, melting over a lush piano in effortless defiance of “the norm”:
is it crazy to think that i’m going crazy
is it sane to be scared?
everything that’s going on around you
am i only lost
because you’re lost?
cause you’re here and i’m not
cause you’re free and i’m still inside my brain
In being true to its nonconformist message, “Morning” refutes the traditional verse-chorus blueprint, instead offering a meaty ethereal interlude that flows right back into that airy, intimate refrain.
Perhaps the best way to experience “Morning” off the bat is the accompanying music video, an equally ethereal and visually cinematic experience that transforms the song into a fully enthralling experience. “Inspired by the ’90s animated TV series ReBoot and using the same software originally intended for making video games, the official video for ‘Morning’ features 3 worlds designed entirely in virtual reality,” director Nancy Lee tells Atwood Magazine. “Adding another layer of innovation, the team imported Noble Oak’s character into each virtual world by recording the depths of his physical body using an infrared sensor. We developed a virtual-camera in the virtual environments to ‘shoot’ the scenes using VR controllers. Mimicking a real camera with a controller in my right hand, but having the freedom from gravity to fly around with a controller in my left hand, I was able to soar through my VR film set immersed in this imaginary world, acting as a cinematographer.”
All told, “Morning” is more of an easy wake-up call than the traditional alarm or jolt we might associate with such a term, but it’s resounding nonetheless. Noble Oak’s latest creation invites his audience to look deep within ourselves and ponder our place, our purpose, and our being; seamlessly, he crafts a narrative that challenges us to consider change, without forcing the issue or casting doubt on our own perspectives. It’s a very welcoming approach to open-mindedness, and one that makes the “progressive” feel like a familiar friend – something we want to chase, rather than something we “ought to” or “must” adopt.
After all, “Morning” is essentially imploring us to embrace our individuality: “Am I only lost because you’re lost?” We can be who and what we want to be, and define ourselves on our own terms, rather than someone else’s. Simple, yet dressed in sweet, movingly elegant garb, “Morning” just may be the rise and shine we need to start a new day.
Noble Oak’s Horizon is out this Spring via Last Gang Records. Stream “Morning” now via Atwood Magazine!
Stream: “Morning” – Noble Oak
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📸 © Mitch Brown
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