Massachusetts multi-instrumentalist and producer Noah Wisch has gained renown for his conceptual creativity and high caliber ukulele performances. While he has previously cemented a local following with his video Making A Song In Every Town In Massachusetts and a recent appearance at the 2019 Boston Ukulele Melee, Wisch’s new debut album A Summernoon Flight Over Mediterrania is a record for everyone; the well produced and thoroughly immersive pop tunes display a clear ambition for a wider audience.
However, while Wisch’s album certainly has the potential for wide release, what I find most endearing about the work is how obviously indebted it is to the north eastern palette. Clean reverbs and sparkling high ukulele melodies dance around subdued and cloudy acoustic guitars, giving the album a persistent coastal color. “Let’s Walk There” reminds me of the similarly water-logged Jack Johnson; although Wisch’s feel good beach vibe, as an instrumental, seems a more natural soundtrack to the wordless ocean.
A Summernoon Flight Over Mediterrania is far from one note, and Wisch’s greatest creative achievement as a producer is doing so much with his limited selection of instruments. “Just Pathways (Interlude)” is a wash of low-mid synthesizer pad and plinking melodic piano that cleanses the listener for the album’s second half while providing a reminder that Wisch could go anywhere with his creativity; a promise kept with “The Place You Knew” which introduces the album’s first bit of vocals before transitioning into a groovy and modern indie rock tune any fan of Animal Collective would love. Where Noah Wisch could go next is seemingly a decision between a more vocal heavy effort that could find his brand of north east indie become more mainstream, or another instrumental work that allows him to stretch his musicianship without constraint. Either way, I’m on board.
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