'Talk About Us' is the title of Isla Noon's sophomore release - a follow up to her more cinematic and introspective debut 'Summer In August' it shows a gutsier, sophisticated pop side of her song writing and music production style.
Despite being a recent arrival on the music scene Isla Noon is turning ears and heads already. 'Talk About Us’s colourfully poetic lyrics dramatises a position of hopelessness, of not quite knowing where you stand in a relationship. It deftly explores that 'white-knuckled holding on tight' feeling you experience when you sense that someone is quietly slipping through your fingers.
We had the chance to speak with Isla on the release and more as part of our Introducing series...
Introduce yourself and tell us a bit about you!
"Hey, I’m Isla Noon, I live and make music in Auckland, New Zealand. My second single ‘Talk About Us’ just came out on July 2nd and I’m so happy about iiiiiiiit."
When did you first develop an interest in making music?
"I remember feeling like music was this very magical thing when I was young. I’ve been writing songs since childhood, although I can’t say they were very good at 8 y/o! I really committed to this path early on; singing, picking up instruments, studying music, getting nerdy about songwriting and vocals, and now releasing my own music. It still feels like magic sometimes."
Where are you from and what’s your favourite thing about it? Do you feel as though your surroundings have inspired your sound in any way?
"I was born in South Africa, moved to New Zealand when I was quite young, lived in Australia for a few years as a teenager but ultimately my family settled in Auckland, New Zealand. One of my favourite things about Auckland, and New Zealand in general, is the landscapes. I take a lot of inspiration from landscapes both for lyrics and in production soundscapes, and Auckland’s West Coast beaches in particular have this expansiveness, like you can really take a deep breath out there. Places like that definitely weave their way into my songwriting subconscious."
Who are your biggest inspirations, musically?
"As a kid I was heavily influenced by the music my parents played at home – poetic songwriters like Leonard Cohen and Simon & Garfunkel, and pop and disco groups like Boney M and ABBA.
I fell in love with synthesisers when I heard Bette Davis Eyes by Kim Carnes, which led me to artists like Robyn in my teen years, and a whole world of music with these intelligent pop melodies, stuff that’s really evocative and kind of gutsy. Artists I’m listening to / loving at the moment include MUNA, Joni Mitchell, Holly Humberstone, Troye Sivan, Wolf Alice, Prince."
Who would be your dream artist to collaborate with?
"Like, aaaanyone? Paul McCartney. And Robyn. Maybe both on the same song. It would be chaos, but the best kind of chaos?"
You’ve just released your second single ‘Talk About Us’! Tell us a little about it!
"‘Talk About Us’ holds a really special place for me not only because of the subject material, but because it kind of signifies the beginning of a period where I felt like I was writing music I loved, that for the first time felt like “me” and didn’t cater to anyone else. I had written a lot of the track at home before bringing it in to the studio to work with my good friend and collaborator Maude Minnie Morris. It was the first track Maude and I had ever really worked on together, and became the first of many. We just set out to make the kind of thing we wanted to listen to, that we were trawling Spotify playlists for. And we did it. It was such a pure creative experience, and I think that joy is really present in the final product."
Do you have a favourite lyric or part of the track in particular?
"The second verse is such a good rollercoaster every time, especially to perform live! Also, the insane amount of cowbell we worked into this track."
What can we expect from you in the near future?
"More music! There’s so much more to come. More visuals, more alt-pop, more weirdness about me on my social media. Best place to get in on that is Instagram!"
'Talk About Us' is out now.
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