I guess I should state that, if you like rustic to doldrum sounding music, you’ll get on fine with Elan Noon’s latest release.
Entitled ‘Have A Spirit Filled‘, this musical baby of Keenan Mittag-Degala delivers easy-going tones which resonate until something takes on an ever-doldrum, inconceivable, twisted, ornate resonance. I guess it’s like this. You buy a new pair of jeans that you actually want to be the 20 years old pair with a patch, slightly torn and worn out. The pair you just threw away, basically. What you actually have, though, is a pair that feels tight, un-creased and freshly dyed with no holes and no patch.
Elan Noon is the new pair fresh off the jean press – they aren’t worn yet, aren’t tried and tested and aren’t as easy going. I suppose I say this because this album sounds like a project album. It doesn’t fit right yet, it doesn’t have that heavy, weighted feel to it and it’s not going to take you off your feet. Like those new jeans, it’s going to be stuck in the closet looming over everything Elan Noon does in the future.
The record is pretty clean-cut in the way Mittag-Degala projects his voice. It does feel tight in the lack of vocal twisting and turning, yet the production lets the side down. Mittag-Degala’s voice has the feel and mood of someone who claims to have been there and done that but in actuality hasn’t, almost trying too hard to obscure his own purity through masking and synths. The vocals just doesn’t kick out, no matter how loud you play it. When I say kick out, I mean that Elan Noon hasn’t been recorded in a way that plays to Mittag-Degala’s strengths – we’re given a sense of an overture voice that could gravel his heart out through this music, then instead served up a less pure product. Like the production has tried to cover certain aspects of his voice. Why, I am unsure.
If you listen closely, right towards the end of ‘Could It Be’, Mittag-Degala’s voice really is opened up to the listener – even if it is for a second or two. This is the product I would prefer. But hey, I’m not Noon’s producer for what I see as more of a project album. It is an exploration of Mittag-Degala’s own self in the creation of Elan Noon.
a new pair of jeans that you actually want to be the 20 years old pair with a patch, slightly torn and worn out
So why Elan Noon, then? We all do, to some extent, take up names that aren’t ours. Nicknames and the like. It makes me question the name Elan Noon. Mittag-Degala could have gone with his own, but how stage show is that? Not particularly stage show in my book, so again; why Elan Noon? Whatever the answer to that question, I do not know. It’s interesting, particularly with this aura of mystery. It’s a good name.
Let’s turn towards the music again. I want to complain like an old man, as there are a lot of high pitched tweaks and tweets that really are overly used throughout the album that seem to undo all the good work done by Mittag-Degala (and there is certainly some solid foundation in songwriting). It’s not the end of the world, though. And if it was the end of the world, would I be listening to it? No. I certainly wouldn’t. Regardless, Mittag-Degala wanted to be “listened to in a consumable, digestible way” (taken from his press pack). I would certainly recommend checking this out if you like consumable and digestible music. In essence, music that’s not too exciting but you can chew your way through it like mashed potato.
‘Have A Spirit Filled’ is available to listen to/purchase on Bandcamp – https://elannoon.bandcamp.com/