Our top 10 Noah Kahan songs list presents the music of an American singer-songwriter best known for his contribution to the alt-pop music scene. The Vermont-born musician commenced his musical pursuits while he was a teenager citing inspiration from artists like Counting Crows, Paul Simon, and Hozier, to name a few. His music career came burgeoning in 2017 after he issued his successful debut single “Young Blood.”
The song came barely a year after Noah Kahan signed a recording contract with Republic Records. Other artists who (once) affiliated with the label Republic Records include John Mellencamp, Taylor Swift, Godsmack, Pearl Jam, and Weezer, to name a few. Noah Kahan went ahead to earn critical acclaim thanks to his luscious folk-tinged pop music influences. Currently, the singer-songwriter boasts three studio albums and two extended plays.
A Quick Review of Noah Kahan’s Releases
After issuing his debut single “Young Blood,” Noah Kahan continued to work on his debut extended play Hurt Somebody. The extended play was issued in early January 2018 through Republic Records. Noah Kahan earned some critical acclaim thanks to the impressive quality of songs like “Hurt Somebody,” “Catastrophize,” “Please,” and “Passenger.” Hurt Somebody made it to the twenty-second spot on the Billboard Heatseekers Albums Chart.
The extended play was followed up by Noah Kahan’s debut studio album Busyhead. Busyhead was issued in 2019 through Republic Records. Leading the list of record producers tasked with making Busyhead a success was the Grammy Award-winning songwriter/record producer Joel Little. Joel has also worked with reputable artists including Sam Smith, Olivia Rodrigo, Lorde, The Jonas Brothers, and Shawn Mendes, among others.
Other producers whose contributions were featured on this album include Sam de Jong, Simone Felice, and David Baron. Busyhead was fairly successful in the mainstream. While the album never made it to the Billboard 200, it rose atop the Billboard Heatseekers Albums Chart. The album also made it to the eighty-third spot on the Canadian Albums Chart. Some of the best Noah Kahan songs featured on Busyhead include “False Confidence,” “Hurt Somebody,” “Mess,” and “Young Blood.”
In 2020, Noah Kahan returned with his sophomore extended play entitled Cape Elizabeth. The EP finds Noah Kahan balancing between indie pop and folk music influences. Unfortunately, Cape Elizabeth scored poorly in the mainstream, barely impressing on any Billboard Chart. Nevertheless, the album is home to some fan favorites such as “Anyway,” “Maine,” and “Glue Myself Shut.”
Noah Kahan would later issue his sophomore studio album I Was / I Am in 2021. The album was issued through Republic Records under the production of Joel Little. Joining Joel in the production duties of this album were Mart Rankin (who worked with Weezer, The Bohicas, Spoon, and Queens of the Stone Age) and Koz (who worked with Dua Lipa, Mabel, Hailee Steinfeld, and Dermot Kennedy).
I Was / I Am was warmly received by Noah Kahan fans. However, the album struggled to climb into the mainstream charts. “Someone Like You,” “Howling,” “Part of Me,” and “Bury Me” are some of the best Noah Kahan songs from the album.
Eventually, Noah Kahan issued his third studio album Stick Season in 2022. The album was co-produced by Noah Kahan in conjunction with Gabe Simon, a member of the indie-rock band Kopecky. As a producer, Gabe Simon has also worked with Tauren Wells, Lana Del Rey, The Wombats, Maroon 5, and Mat Kearney.
Stick Season went ahead to top the Billboard Top Alternative Albums and Top Rock Albums Chart. The album also entered the Billboard 200 Chart peaking at the third spot. Stick Season also climbed to the seventeenth spot on the UK Albums Chart. “Northern Attitude,” “Orange Juice,” “Growing Sideways,” “Homesick,” and “Stick Season” are some of the best Noah Kahan songs from the album.
Noah Kahan’s Legacy
Since his entry into the music scene in the mid-2010s, Noah Kahan remains a significant figure in the alt-pop scene. His music is a luscious blend of indie pop, folk pop, indie rock, and indie folk soundscapes. While he might not have earned multiple awards, Kahan’s impressive musicianship has seen him open for several artists/bands. Some of the artists Noah Kahan has opened for include Dermot Kennedy, The Strumbellas, James Bay, and Dean Lewis among others. Here we provide a review of the top 10 Noah Kahan songs of all time.
Ushering us into our top 10 Noah Kahan songs list is the haunting hit “Passenger.” The song is featured on Noah Kahan’s debut extended play Hurt Somebody. “Passenger” was composed by Noah Kahan in conjunction with Todd Clark and Sacha Skarbek. In this song, Noah sings about having little to no control over his life’s journey. “Passenger” finds Noah coming in terms of his helplessness in surrendering himself to his lover.
Despite striking a balance in his life, Noah realizes that it’s still not enough to make him whole. While the lyrical content of this song is something to go by, we are drawn even closer to the song by Noah’s impressive vocal range. His vocal dexterity paves the way for emphasis on this song’s pensive lyrical content whenever the need arises. Unfortunately, “Passenger” is one of Noah Kahan’s songs that never made it to the mainstream charts.
#9- Part of Me
“Part of Me” is a fan-favorite pick we couldn’t afford to miss on our list. This introspective track is featured on Noah Kahan’s sophomore studio album I Was / I Am. “Part of Me” was co-written by Noah Kahan in conjunction with Nick Atkinson and Edd Holloway. In this song, Noah Kahan sings about the loss of touch with an almost lover. The song finds Noah Kahan recognizing that some souls aren’t meant to stay for a lifetime in our lives. However, the song still notes how amazing superficial moments in life can play an important role in our lives.
This is best exemplified when Noah Kahan sings that he doesn’t miss his almost lover but misses how she made him feel. “Part of Me” is yet another song that failed to impress on the mainstream charts. However, the song holds a special place in the hearts of Noah Kahan fans. “Part of Me” features a music video directed by Hunter Airheart. Hunter has also directed music videos by other artists including Faye Webster and Plastic Picnic.
Coming in at number eight on our top 10 Noah Kahan songs list is the phenomenal track “Anyway.” The song is featured on Noah Kahan’s second extended play Cape Elizabeth. “Anyway” finds the singer promising his care and support to a lover. The song is centered around the theme of love—unwavering patience and understanding prove to be the most significant pillars in showing love as posited by this track.
“Anyway” is delivered in a slower tempo than most of the songs we have featured on this list. This helps Noah Kahan dig deeper into his emotive delivery. His heartwarming vocals perfectly complement the concern the singer has for his lover. The acoustic guitars add some glamour to this emotionally charged track!
#7- Young Blood
“Young Blood” was issued in 2017, marking Noah Kahan’s major label debut single. The song would later be featured on his debut studio album Busyhead. “Young Blood” was penned by Noah Kahan at a moment of solitude in Strafford, Vermont during winter. Little did Noah Kahan know that this would become a hit!
The song finds Noah pouring raw emotions about his personal experiences. He goes ahead to give us one of his personal mantras, “Keep your time, keep your mind, keep it humble; Start your life in the middle of the jungle.” This mantra kept him going despite feeling disjointed at first about his musical pursuits.
While it never made it big in the mainstream charts, “Young Blood” went ahead to earn Noah Kahan commercial success. The song was gold-certified in Australia. “Young Blood” features an accompanying music video directed by Drew Tyndell. Other artists who have worked with Drew Tyndell include Brandi Carlile, Washed Out, Dayglow, and Young the Giant.
#6- Dial Drunk
Ranking sixth on our top 10 Noah Kahan songs list is the impressive hit “Dial Drunk.” The song was issued as part of the deluxe edition of Noah’s third studio album Stick Season. “Dial Drunk” finds Noah Kahan crooning about a man who struggles with the memories of his ex-lover. The man always buzzes his ex’s phone number whenever he gets in trouble after drunk driving (albeit he knows she won’t respond). As the song continues, we see the man Noah Kahan impersonates confessing his shame at abusing his ex-lover physically.
“Dial Drunk” is a saccharine banjo-led track worth featuring in every Noah Kahan fan’s playlist. The song is quite a significant track in Noah Kahan’s catalog—it is his debut track on the Billboard Hot 100. “Dial Drunk” made it to position forty-three on Billboard Hot 100. The song also climbed to the forty-eighth spot on the UK Singles Chart. “Dial Drunk” is among Noah Kahan’s songs that generated buzz on the social media platform TikTok.
#5- Someone Like You ft. Joy Oladokun
The fifth pick of our top 10 Noah Kahan songs list is the collaborative track “Someone Like You.” “Someone Like You” is the emblem of Noah Kahan’s musicianship on his sophomore studio album I Was / I Am. The song finds Noah collaborating with the American folk-pop singer Joy Oladokun. “Someone Like You” is a sad song that finds the two singers singing about the pain of losing a lover.
The two sing about the regrets and desperation that come with the situation. “Someone Like You” is a perfect anthem to the delicateness of a love relationship. Despite not making it to the mainstream charts, the song remains a fan favorite thanks owing to its highly relatable lyrics for most.
#4- Northern Attitude
“Northern Attitude” is one of the most impressive recent songs by Noah Kahan. The song serves as the album-opening track of Noah Kahan’s third studio album Stick Season. “Northern Attitude” is a lyrical masterpiece penned by Noah Kahan. Noah produced this track in conjunction with Gabe Simon. Gabe has also worked with several artists including Rag‘n’Bone, Sarah Cothrane, Maroon 5, and Adam Lambert.
Noah Kahan quoted “Northern Attitude” to be a song inspired by the “infinite” loneliness he felt in Vermont, one of the sparsely populated places in the US. The song tries to associate the “Northern Attitude” with Kahan’s demeanor. “Northern Attitude” is a reminder that solitude is one of the pillars of self-realization. The song made it to position twenty on the Billboard Hot Rock and Alternative Chart.
#3- False Confidence
Ranking third on our top 10 Noah Kahan songs list is the marvelous hit “False Confidence.” The song is featured on the singer’s debut studio album Busyhead. Noah Kahan revealed that “False Confidence” is an ode to believing in oneself but also not considering oneself seriously in the whole process.
“False Confidence” climbed to the eighth spot on the Billboard Adult Alternative Airplay Chart. The song was a commercial success in Australia where it earned gold certification. “False Confidence” features a music video directed by Jesse DeFlorio. Jesse has also worked (either as a music director or photographer) with Vanessa Carlton, Crowded House, American Authors, and White Reaper.
#2- Stick Season
“Stick Season” is by far one of the most popular songs by Noah Kahan despite being one of his latest. The song is the title track to Noah Kahan’s most recent and third studio album. “Stick Season” was penned by Noah Kahan in conjunction with Gabe Simon. The song finds Noah serving us with lyrics about a failed long-distance relationship.
“Stick Season” references the tough times of the pandemic when people would barely travel from to another. In this song, Noah Kahan cites his need to travel to meet his lover but he is held in Vermont and can barely take a flight to see his lover. “Stick Season” was two spots shy from gracing the Billboard Hot 100. The song made it to the eighth spot on the Billboard Hot Rock and Alternative Songs Chart.
#1- Hurt Somebody ft. Julia Michaels
Ranking first on our top 10 Noah Kahan songs list is the alluring hit “Hurt Somebody.” The song features two versions; the solo version, and the Noah Kahan-Julia Michaels collaborative version. “Hurt Somebody” was issued as the lead single of Noah Kahan’s debut extended play of the same name. The song was later featured on the singer’s debut studio album Busyhead.
“Hurt Somebody” finds Noah Kahan singing about the fear of breaking free from an already-ended relationship. While leaving is by far the optimal decision, actualizing it feels quite a hard task to execute with Noah Kahan contemplating the weight of the decision. “Hurt Somebody” was Noah Kahan’s first song on the international charts. It peaked at the fourteenth spot on the ARIA Singles Chart. The song was gold-certified in the US, Canada, New Zealand, and Sweden, earning platinum certification five times in Australia.
Top 10 Noah Kahan Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2023
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