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To Noah Kahan, ‘Stick Season’ is forever

Amidst this almost snowless, drawn-out stick season many New Englanders are currently experiencing, Noah Kahan dropped a shimmer of light on his fans by releasing “Stick Season (Forever).” This new extended album is the third version of his 2022 LP “Stick Season.” 

The original release of “Stick Season” catapulted Kahan into the eyes and hearts of the mainstream public. Since then, he’s continued to build upon the 14-track album. This new and final two-hour-long compilation consists of the original “Stick Season” songs, eight bonus songs and eight collaborative songs, forming a collection of 30 songs to bid farewell to his “Stick Season” chapter. 

Along with the new compilation, Kahan released the new song “Forever” and two collaborative tracks with Brandi Carlile and Gregory Alan Isakov. 

Kahan’s lyrics leave little room for interpretation, providing listeners with relatable and nostalgic songs about love, relationships, self-growth and more. His songs “Stick Season” and “Northern Attitude” accomplish what the band “The Ghost of Paul Revere” attempted with their song “The Ballad of the 20th of Maine,” which is to unite a fanbase through their geographical location.  

Kahan’s new bonus track, “Forever,” tells a story of love lost but through a more optimistic lens. The song starts slow and the lyrics are reminiscent of a young love. His lyrics, “Now I’m glad I get forever to see where you went,” frame the loss of this love in a positive light. This song reflects the acceptance that you can grow with someone for a while, but eventually, you may need to let go to continue growing. 

“You’re Gonna Go Far” was originally released on Kahan’s 2023 follow-up album “Stick Season (We’ll All Be Here Forever).”  In this new collaborative version, Carlile sings with Kahan about letting go of someone you love. The song reflects on leaving home, family or loved ones to go out on your own and grow. Carlile sings the second verse. Her comfortingly smooth voice emphasizes Kahan’s consoling and validating lyrics. They sing, “If you wanna go far, then you gotta go far,” reminding the listeners that sometimes what you yearn for is what you need to do. 

On the contrary, “Paul Revere” tells the story of stagnancy: staying in a place that physically remains the same but changes in terms of people, relationships and situations. Originally released on Kahan’s 2023 “Stick Season (We’ll All Be Here Forever),” this new version includes Gregory Alan Isakov. They sing, “If I could leave, I would’ve already left.” In juxtaposition with the free-spirited “You’re Gonna Go Far (With Brandi Carlile),” this song tells the story of being stuck in a small town that is simultaneously staying the same and changing.

Kahan must be applauded for his devotion to building upon his 2022 “Stick Season” LP. His final, two-hour-long product reflects shared experiences many people, especially New Englanders, learn as they grow up. From feelings of stagnancy, bitterness, love and self-destructiveness to the overwhelming urge to flee, Kahan captures what it’s like to grow up in the 21st century in his new compilation.

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