“So Mysterious” by Noshows
The change of direction Max Satow has engineered with his hitherto solo project Noshows into a band effort smack of a musician listening to the sound they hear in their head. It isn’t any slight to what he accomplished as a solo performer working under the Noshows moniker but expanding his concept of the project to include other constant members is an implicit acknowledgment that his idea for Noshows has evolved.
You can’t help but be impressed with the direction. “So Mysterious” keeps a lot of balls in the air at the same time and the unit’s musical juggling act doesn’t feel or sound like it tests their skills. There’s light and easy-going confidence radiating from each second of Noshows’ new single and it pervades every component of the composition.
It doesn’t strike a false note, however. There’s nothing prefabbed or overly plotted out about this single. Noshows avoids any hint of a paint-by-numbers approach thanks to the sheer stylistic audacity that has been a trademark of Satow’s music from the outset. His production for the single finds an across-the-board balance. One element isn’t highlighted at the expense of others. Noshows continues to push much of the same musical vision fueling their past work, albeit on a broader scale than before, even with an expanded cast of collaborators for Satow to work off and along with.
Marrying jazz and hip-hop influences doesn’t break new ground. The new ground comes from the indelible and idiosyncratic voice that emerges from this song. It’s a familiar voice, in some respects, because Noshows proves handy with its stylistic debts. The project’s musical identity is a much more all-encompassing thing than heard here; “So Mysterious” is astonishingly narrow in scope compared to the full gamut Noshows offers.
It’s nonetheless satisfying. There isn’t a single lull during the song dragging its energies down and, instead, Satow and company keep everything moving in very consistent fashion. Even the relaxed lope settling in later in the track feels part and parcel of what comes before; “So Mysterious” benefits from an overall swing that seems, at first, improbable, but then seems natural.
The single never overstays its welcome and sparkles with relaxed inventiveness from the outset. Noshows has changed direction internally, but the end result is much the same as before – the same impressive blending of multiple styles into a cohesive whole. It’s as modern as it comes, really, and deserves the groundswell of local support they’ve received in the NYC area, but there’s more in the offing. Noshows deserves the widest possible audience for Max Satow’s charismatic and talented modern concoction.
Noshows can and will go anywhere they like from this point on. “So Mysterious” is the latest signpost declaring that the outfit won’t be hemmed in by anyone’s ideas about what road they should travel. Max Satow and his collaborators are cut from the cloth of artists willing to follow their respective muse(s) wherever, even if the path ahead is rather wayward. It’s the more scenic route, anyway.
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