This has been out a month now, but it’s never too late to say that Na Noise’s debut album Waiting For You is a little gem of retro indie rock.
I first saw Na Noise when they opened for Skyscraper Stan last August at the Tuning Fork. Some of the songs from that gig are on the album, which has been two years in the making. I liked the clean, retro sound at the time, which reminded me of early Jefferson Airplane, and latterly Breeders, interspersed with Link Wray power chord distortions.
The album adds multi-instrumentalist Christopher Varnham on percussion to the core Na Noise duo of Yolanda Fagan (guitar) and Hariet Ellis (bass), and distortion abounds as well through the vocal mix. From the moment “Waiting For You” blasts out you quickly decide to turn it up a bit, well, a lot, let the music flow, as well as the references. We retain The Breeders and maybe Starship rather than Airplane, but let’s add 90’s indie bands Echobelly and Elastica to the list, as well as Sneaker Pimps.
It’s a new-old sound, from a band that has been described as the Thelma & Louise of modern guitar rock, but there’s no accidental criminality here. It’s all joy and beer and skittles and warmth and goodness and light. “Sun Stone Air” has a compelling shimmering riff and a distorted vocal chant which could be 90s, could be 60s. Then we “Open the Door” to “Dance With Me” with its country guitar and gang vocals (lead by Christopher) and “Good Morning Again” takes on a na na na na journey before it’s time for “Goodnight” “Bad Dreams” is Breeders, as is “Please”. “Swallow Tail” is a cute little instrumental before we are reminded that if you don’t know it’s Na Noise “Then Who”, beyond The Shadows of a doubt.
I like it so much I played the entire album in my radio show, interspersed into music from 1989 to 2012 to emphasise the relevance and the reference.
Na Noise is Waiting For You on all streaming sites to turn it up for the sounds of summer.