New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
Literate Rock, Evocative of Elvis Costello
Meets Warren Zevon, as Singer-Songwriter Noam Weinstein Delivers His Latest Vividly Drawn Album, '42 ½'
Tour Takes Shape
Singer-songwriter Noam Weinstein has confirmed the February 26th release of his new album, '42 ½'. The 14-song collection is smart, deeply soulful rock at its best, with a compelling storyteller's voice that shines through. Weinstein's sound and style evoke artists from Jakob Dylan
to John Prine
to Jeff Tweedy, as he infuses his album with passion, humor and ace musicianship.
Weinstein wryly says the project, his first studio album in four years, "was inspired by that magical time when both the wild innocence of a 42-year-old and the sober wisdom of a 43-year-old are just out of reach." He adds, "I feel like the primary subject that runs through this collection is what it means for me to be at this strange moment in my life, too old to be full of dreams and too young to be full of gravity...There's also a lot of grappling with taking control vs letting go, crying vs laughing, and what it means to feel normal, or to feel at all. Especially in such a breathtaking and terrifying time to be alive, to be aging, to be an American."
Highlights abound on the upcoming album: 'Somebody Punch Me' has a Costello vibe, vivid storytelling, and a backdrop of strings that gives it an anthemic feel. 'Working Up A Laugh' is a soulful throwback...a highlight of the project, and the addition of horns provides a soaring complement to the freewheeling end of the song. 'Kiss Your Wounds' and 'Everything Old Is New' have resonant lyrics about parenthood and aging, and an understated power. The male/female doubled vocals on 'Jamie' enhance an already rich Americana palette. 'How Dare the World' is quiet, reflective, intense…and the Spanish-language 'Cola', though unexpected, is somehow the perfect coda.
Weinstein's track-by-track notes, below, provide a roadmap to the eclectic songs, at times providing a context that listeners may otherwise lack (his comments on 'The Queen' are a good example).
2020 Tour is taking shape, celebrating the release of '42 ½':
Feb 26 Lizard Lounge Boston, MA
Feb 27 Pete's Candy Store Brooklyn, NY
Apr 2 The Hotel Cafe Los Angeles, CA
Keep up to date on Noam Weinstein concerts here: https://www.enoam.com/#shows
The album was recorded and mixed by five-time Grammy Award winner Ryan Freeland
(Aimee Mann, Bonnie Raitt, Ingrid Michaelson, Joe Henry & more) and features an army of old and new collaborators on fourteen tracks recorded at Los Angeles's legendary United Recording Studios. Full credits can be found at: https://www.enoam.com/img/42/Credits.png
Song Notes - by Noam Weinstein:
1. Used to Be a Songwriter: Looking back on the days when I wasn't responsible for anyone else and could give myself 100% to my "art"! (Also just thought it'd be fun to write a song that has the premise of no longer writing songs.)
2. Doing It Wrong: It's tempting to justify pain & struggles by arguing that they're central to a rich life. But is it true? Sometimes I think it is! Other times, I think it's a dangerous delusion.
3. Work Up a Laugh: Something's amiss when we have to try so hard to find humor in the world around us! And yet, at a moment when perhaps the most powerful leader alive makes "jokes" that take aim at imagined enemies and his most vulnerable neighbors, it's awfully hard to laugh.
4. Jamie: My attempt at a philosophy of acceptance. More aspirational than achieved, but I guess it's a start!
5. Somebody Punch Me: When are hope & optimism valid feelings for this 42-and-a-half-year-old American living in 2020? And when do they suggest someone needs to violently wake him the hell up?
6. Kiss Your Wounds: It's taken me a while to learn that with every beautiful new chapter one of my children enters, my own power as a parent diminishes. And it seems both hard and essential to accept this!
7. 98.6: I've always been fascinated by this mysterious & arbitrary number that somehow represents "normal". What does it mean when your thermometer says you should be feeling just fine, and yet...?
8. The Queen: This song was inspired by -- and makes liberal use of! -- several observations of my young children. It was initially inspired by a conversation my wife was having with our six-year-old daughter, who wanted to understand how the heart works. My wife did her best to explain it, and my daughter's summary was that the heart is "like the queen of the body". More generally, I just love the strange & unexpected observations of those who haven't yet been told how to think.
Old Is New: If history, culture, and style repeats itself, why not our youth?
10. Drawn to Scale: I'm interested in what it means for a person to be fully seen (by an artist, by a partner, by a friend...); does it mean every aspect of them needs to be viewed just as large or small as it actually is? And, if so, who wants that?
11. Autopilot: One of the dangers of being around for a while -- at least for me! -- is letting the road move beneath me instead of moving along it myself.
12. I Can Feel You Now: The antidote to autopilot, which, when it comes, is never less than a revelation: feeling!
13. How Dare the World: I guess one of the trickiest parts about knowing that your time will eventually be up is accepting that others' will have just begun. (This can be reassuring, especially when the others are loved ones! But it can also be bewildering, and jealousy-making.)
14. Cola: This little coda of a song (the title means "tail" in Spanish) is mostly a small gift to my wife, who is from Puerto Rico, and to our children, who've heard the wonderful singer & cuatro player on it (Fabiola Mendez) perform live several times, but who didn't know she would be a surprise guest on the album.
More About Noam Weinstein (excerpted from his irreverent website biography):
The 42-year-old artist (whose correctly pronounced name rhymes with "Snowbomb Einstein") grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and began playing guitar and trumpet in elementary school and performing at venues such as Passim and Johnny D's as a teenager. After college he headed for New York City, where he frequented clubs like The Living Room and The Bitter End, both as a singer-songwriter and as a guitarist accompanying other songwriters. (Sadly, Noam sold his trumpet in 1999, a year when the trumpet industry had more than sufficient inventory.) In 2001 Noam released his debut EP "Enough About You" and in 2002 he followed it up with "Above the Music" produced by Jimi Zhivago. In 2004 he completed his first full-length album, "Probably Human" with Tyler Wood. Late 2006 brought "We're All Going There" with Lee Alexander; 2008, a series of two-song singles, "Planet
"; 2010, Noam's first live album, "Found Alive"; and 2012, a studio collaboration with Mike Viola, "Clocked." Noam's self-produced "Bottlefed" and "On Waves" came in 2014 & 2016.
Noam's albums have received airplay on stations like WERS, WXPN, WFUV, and XM/Sirius Radio, and his song "I Can Hurt People" aired on the Showtime network during its program "Weeds." The lead track from "On Waves" was awarded "best song" in the Hollywood Songwriting Contest; two earlier tracks, "Planet
" and "Yesterday's Weather" were finalists in the USA Songwriting Contest. Live appearances have included South by Southwest in Austin, CMJ and The Songwriters Hall of Fame in New York, and various clubs across the nation as well as in Ireland (a small country in Western Europe) and England. He has also embarked on several tours of Germany in support of his Skycap Records release "Sixteen Skies."
In addition to his own recordings, Noam has been honored to have songs of his recorded by Jess Tardy, Greta Gertler, Mark Whitaker, Naomi Sommers, and Lin McEwan, and performed live by artists like Anita Suhanin, Matt Kanelos, and Mieka Pauley. He is also grateful to have been a guest vocalist on albums by The Great Unknowns and Sam Sadigursky.