Every Maine Reference in Noah Kahan – Stick Season (We’ll All Be Here Forever)
I called him "Nick Kay-han" once. That is not his name.
The most popular man in New England not named Tom Brady, Noah Kahan, has released a deluxe version of his highly acclaimed album Stick Season. Titled Stick Season (We'll All Be Here Forever), this edition features seven previously unreleased tracks that offer fans a deeper dive into Kahan's world.
Kahan, originally from Strafford, Vermont, has been a proud New England boy in his lyrics, drawing inspiration from the region's natural beauty and unique charm. Kahan's music often captures the stories and experiences of New England life, resonating with both his own deep affection for the region and the shared experiences of fellow New Englanders. As part of my professional duties, I carefully analyzed the seven newly released songs, attentively searching for any subtle or overt references that pertain to our state.
One of the tracks that caught my attention was Your Needs, My Needs. In the bridge of this song, Kahan belts out the line:
"Subtle changе, shorter days."
This could very well be a nod to the New England state situated further north than any other, where the days are naturally shorter during the winter months. It references the early sunsets that accompany Daylight Savings in our state and may even allude to the prevalence of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) in the region, affecting nearly 10% of people in New England. It’s not a competition, but our days are shorter than your days. In the least threatening way possible.
Another track is Paul Revere. In the chorus, Kahan sings:
"One day, I'm gonna cut it clear.
Ride like Paul Revere.
And, when they ask me who I am,
I'll say, 'I'm not from around here.'"
These lyrics harken back to the historical figure Paul Revere and the complex legacy he left behind. Notably, Revere was involved in a failed military expedition in Castine, during the American Revolution. Although Revere faced accusations and doubts about his integrity and patriotism, he ultimately cleared his name. Additionally, Kahan's lyrics cleverly play on this historical backdrop, infusing it with a sense of being an outsider or "from away."
In the song No Complaints, Kahan references another song of his in the first verse:
“Tried to blame weather, and escape better.
Hope the skin heals where the pain enters”
Reminiscent of the chorus in his song Northern Attitude where he sings:
"Forgive my northern attitude, I was raised out in the cold."
These lines draw attention to the resilience and strength that come from growing up in the cold northern winters of New England, including Maine.
Lastly, the track You're Gonna Go Far resonates with Mainers on multiple levels. In the third verse, Kahan sings:
"We're overdue for a revival,"
Hinting at the desire for change and growth. We've faced economic challenges and periods of stagnation, and the lyrics reflect a collective longing for progress and rejuvenation. Furthermore, Kahan questions the purpose of living a life without truly experiencing it to the fullest, inspiring folks in our Pine Tree State to seek meaningful opportunities and a higher quality of life.
Noah Kahan's album release of Stick Season (We'll All Be Here Forever) not only delivers soul-stirring music but also showcases his well-known, deep connection to our region. It's a true testament to his artistry and remarkable ability to capture the very essence of our beloved New England, making his music incredibly relatable to listeners.
Thanks, Mr. Kay-han!
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