Noir Yon is looking for closure and peace with his EP So Far So Sad. Full of thoughts and words that have been left unsaid, the EP uses a novel structure to work through everything. Building up over the first 6 tracks, it reaches a peak on the last song to finally offer the peace listeners are searching for. Each track summarises topics that are not easy to talk about in real life but can be visualised in music.
Jonathan Pham is the man behind the sound. After the band he was in spilt, he formed the solo project Noir Yon. Drawing on the influential sounds of early 2000 bands and singer-songwriters, he crafts a careful tale through his music.
The EP starts with ‘Intro’ which is a perfect opening as it really sets the tone. The track uses a progressive opening that gently introduces you to the world of the music. There are a few layers to the music that combine for a solid flow. There is a depth to the melody forming a foundation that you can walk on while the higher tones offer a mist that swirls around you. The gentle almost ambient tones give way to a guitar that brings an earthier feeling to the song.
‘Who Am I’ picks up where the opening track fades off. There is a questioning vibe to this single that comes through in the guitar line. The vocals add to the hazy ambient vibe of the music as it airily breezes past your head. Pham’s performance also compounds the questioning feeling of the music through the lyrics. There is still a misty feeling to this song that carries on from the opening, but there is something more lurking in the lower levels.
The haziness evaporates on ‘Still’ for a more indie folk soundscape. The guitar line leads you into the track and forms a steady thread leading you through the gentle lapping of the vocals. Pham’s performance retains the airiness of the last track but loses the questioning vibe. There is a more laidback feeling to his performance as you relax into the soundscape. The song makes you think of the first warm rays of the sun creeping across your skin as the day starts.
‘I Hope I’m Not Gonna Miss Out’ is a pure acoustic track missing the ambient sounds of the rest of the EP. The acoustic instrumentation takes you in a different direction from the rest of the EP. It is also a turning point in the story laid out through the tracks. You can feel the change in vibe throughout the song while the lyrics lay out a sort of apathetic view of the world. The movements of the melody gently push through you to drive the vibe of the song home.
The next track is ‘See You Soon’ which takes a melancholic turn. There is a sadness within the vocals that weigh heavily on your shoulders. The movement of the melody adds to this as a sombre flow. Throughout the song, you are confronted with lamenting sounds which appear to be at odds with the lyrics. The lyrics offer a different edge to the music as they fill you with longing, but the undercurrent of melancholy tinges them with a hint of darkness.
‘Prelude’ acts as an introduction to the climax of the EP. This short track is packed with vibrating tones that wrap around your brain. It is an interesting inclusion in the EP and makes for a wonderful transition from the melancholy of ‘See You Soo’ to the more melodic and inspiring end of the EP.
The EP comes to a close with the title track ‘So Far So Sad’. While the title and opening tones might make you think it is a continuation of the sadder vibes of the EP, there is something peaceful and uplifting about it. The flow of the opening vocals lifts your chest and fills you with a light energy. The beats in the low levels are almost like heartbeats pulsing against the melodic guitar lines. Through the lyrics and vocals, you are drawn to a peaceful realisation and understanding of life.
Noir Yon takes you on a journey for peace and closure through the ambient and peaceful sounds of So Far So Sad. The EP uses a novel structure that builds over the tracks to peak at the end with the title track ‘So Far So Sad’. Each track offers something new and interesting from ambient flows to indie folk sensibilities and pure acoustics.