Isolation & Rejection: Noah Kahan’s “Pride” (ft. mxmtoon) Is the FOMO Song of the Year

Noah Kahan & mxmtoon collaborate on "Pride" © Jenny Alice Watts
Noah Kahan & mxmtoon collaborate on "Pride" © Jenny Alice Watts
Noah Kahan’s timely “Pride” (ft. mxmtoon) is a beautifully bittersweet acoustic pop song blending the loneliness of isolation with the raw pain of rejection.
Stream: “Pride” – Noah Kahan x mxmtoon




At a time when folks around the world are already experiencing extreme FOMO, Noah Kahan and mxmtoon have come and added the ultimately cherry on top: “Pride,” the pair’s stunning new duet, is a beautifully bittersweet acoustic pop song blending the loneliness of isolation with the raw pain of rejection.

Pride - Noah Kahan x mxmtoon
Pride – Noah Kahan x mxmtoon
Home alone again, I’m wonderin’
But you cut me off
Don’t leave me alone with all my thoughts
I remember when, when you used to say
We could always talk
Even if all we have was lost
Now you won’t admit it
Burn the bridge and now you’re leading me on
Come on, so save me the trouble
I don’t want to suffer, move on

Released October 23, 2020 via Republic Records, “Pride” is an essential stay-at-home (while your friends go out) tune, and the latest in what has turned out to be an unexpectedly busy and creative year for Noah Kahan. “Pride” follows this spring’s surprise acoustic EP Cape Elizabeth, as well as Kahan’s 2020 summer single “Crazier Things” with Chelsea Cutler. In reviewing Cape Elizabeth earlier this year, Atwood Magazine praised the effort as “a deep breath of fresh, invigorating folk that finds the Vermont singer/songwriter doing what he does best: Capturing and recapitulating universal experience through relatable stories, heartfelt lyrics, and unfiltered emotion.”

Boasting the enviable songwriter’s gift of taking simple things and making them extraordinary, Noah Kahan has become a strong musical voice of young Millennials and Gen Z-ers alike. His relatively short professional career (he released his first single, “Young Blood” in January 2017) can be considered a resounding success, with his music generating half a billion combined streams and views, a Gold certification for his hit single “Hurt Somebody” with Julia Michaels, and sold-out headline tours across North America, Europe, and the UK.

Noah Kahan © Josh Goleman
Noah Kahan © Josh Goleman

In the wake of 2019’s debut album Busyhead and its subsequent tours, Kahan might have been expected to take advantage of the global COVID-19 pandemic by giving himself some well-deserved time off; perhaps to sequester himself in some remote cabin far, far away from society, live a little, gather himself and his thoughts, and emerge back into the cultural conscious a year or two later. It’s an appealing proposition, but Kahan did nothing of the sort.

Instead, he kept on truckin’, writing and recording new material with friends around the country and performing virtually for his fans regularly on Instagram live. “Pride” finds him working with acclaimed producer by Alexander23 and Atwood Editor’s Pick mxmtoon, who herself has had an incredibly busy and important year as well – releasing two EPs this year, dawn and dusk – the latter of which features a guest performance from pop superstar Carly Rae Jepson.

Busyhead - Noah Kahan
Noah Kahan’s debut album ‘Busyhead,’ released summer 2019

The premise of “Pride,” like many of Kahan’s songs, is relatively simple and instantly relatable. Singing soulfully with delicate nuance and care, Kahan conjures up images of solitary Friday nights and quiet, homebound weekends – of those seemingly endless moments spent staring at your phone, wondering why your friend or romantic partner is taking so long to respond to your text.

“This song is a testament to that painful feeling we get when someone blows us off,” Kahan explains. “When someone cancels plans last minute, it hurts. It hurts even worse when you see them out and about later! This is an experience I am familiar with, as I’m sure many of you are. If not, then I’m happy for you. Really. I’m happy for you. Congrats, big shot. (I’m so alone in this world).”

Kahan and all his feelings come to a head in an emotional chorus:

Honey, you don’t have to lie
That you’re busy, or too tired
You’re out every weekend now
Takin’ all your new friends out
It hurts my pride just a little
Yes I died just a little
Oh no you don’t have to call
‘Cause the photos say it all
I see you’re letting your hair down
Takin’ all your new friends out
It hurts my pride just a little
Yes I died just a little every time
Noah Kahan & mxmtoon collaborate on "Pride" © Jenny Alice Watts
Noah Kahan & mxmtoon collaborate on “Pride” © Jenny Alice Watts

mxmtoon’s Maia adds her own charismatic touch to “Pride” start at the second verse, which dives headfirst into that easily identifiable FOMO mentality: “I don’t know why I care so much,” she sings, “…you just keep me hanging on.

You’re not in my head, you’re under my skin
And in my blood
I don’t know why I care so much
I tried to understand what’s in your plans
And what you want
‘Cause you just keep me hanging on
Now you won’t admit it
Burn the bridge and now you’re leading me on
Come on, so save me the trouble
I don’t want to suffer, move on

“When I first heard the track, I was blown away and immediately wanted to be involved in any way I could!” mxmtoon says. “Also, so extremely stoked that our friend Alexander23 was the producer for the song as well. Noah is genuinely one of the loveliest people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting, and it was an honor to do the song with him.”

For as much as it hurts from a thematic perspective, “Pride” is a light, sweet, and melodically buoyant song: An earnest pop tune aimed at elevating listeners’ spirits, rather than dwelling in the depths of despair and solitude. Coming at a time when most of us remain sequestered to our homes – when we either can’t or shouldn’t be physically interacting with our friends and going out, whether for the good of ourselves, our loved ones, or the greater public health – “Pride” is its own little world unto itself: A space where we can daydream and let our imaginations run free as we look to brighter days ahead, where we can not only go out and be with loved ones again, but also feel the sting of them going out without us.

Honey, you don’t have to lie (I don’t have to lie)
That you’re busy, or too tired (I’m so tired)
You’re out every weekend now
Takin’ all your new friends out
It hurts my pride just a little
Yes I died just a little
Oh no, you don’t have to call (I don’t have to call)
‘Cause the photos say it all (Say, say, ooh)
I see you’re letting your hair down
Takin’ all your new friends out
It hurts my pride just a little
Yes I died just a little

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:: stream/purchase “Pride” here ::
Stream: “Pride” – Noah Kahan x mxmtoon



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Pride - Noah Kahan x mxmtoon

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📸 © Jenny Alice Watts

:: Stream Noah Kahan ::


Inside Noah Kahan’s Beautiful Mess

:: INTERVIEW ::

Noah Kahan’s Intimate ‘Busyhead’ Is a Powerfully Moving Debut Album

:: OUR TAKE ::

Noah Kahan’s ‘Hurt Somebody’ Triumphs with Heartache & Doubt

:: EP REVIEW ::


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