Bringing a melting pot of genres from jazz to RnB, pop and hip-hop, US-based Noah Richardson proves to be an eclectic force of nature. Only hitting the playlist streaming sites last year, Richardson can be considered a relatively new artist however, he is turning heads on an international level. From NBC’s The Voice to Unclear Magazine’s Next Artist To Watch, the singer-songwriter is building a reputation for engaging lyricism and powerful melodies. The latest addition to their discography is ‘Painful’.
Described as “a counter ballad to Valentine’s Day”, Richardson adopts a jazzy smoothness in his funky track ‘Painful’. Unlike its predecessor ‘we all worry too much’, reminiscent of John Legend and Ed Sheeran, ‘Painful’ is more intricate in its sultry arrangement. With the combination of dynamic guitars, soulful drums, synths and keys, Richardson oozes sensuality in the charming melody. Easily compared to the soulful sounds of the 1970s and 1980s jazz-funk artists, like Earth, Wind and Fire, ‘Painful’ incorporates intimate chords with a contemporary edginess.
While the melody has a suave sexiness about it, ‘Painful’ is more than a flowing track with groovy vibes – it is intricate, complex and filled with human fragility. Or at least, the message of the song is filled with human fragility. Inserting a whispering falsetto vocal similar to Phil Bailey, Noah Richardson takes on love in all its whimsical and heartbreaking forms. ‘Painful’ explores a love triangle and all the consequences involved. Noah shares that “this song is about somebody stuck inside of a love triangle and knowing that regardless of the outcome it’s going to hurt.”
Recorded with producer Tyler Ripley, ‘Painful’ is something different from Richardson’s other work. Richardson shares that he “always loved sexy, slow jam, RnB style songs but never really had one to ‘pull out of the ether’ until this one. In my head, I wanted to capture that feeling of someone laying in bed, lovesick over a relationship or situation they are going through.” I have to agree that he definitely knocked it out of the park with ‘Painful’ and its hypnotic vibes.