NoSo’s debut album ‘Stay Proud Of Me’ marks a tectonic shift in LA based mostly Abby Hwong’s innovative career, standing bold and gentle amidst its tender confessions, nuanced desires, and musings of rebirth.
‘Parasites’ opens the LP with booming drums and sunlight-soaked synths, scoring the effective tale of metamorphosis that observed Hwong in the course of gender-affirming surgical procedures. Evocative strings and muted piano drift in tandem underneath NoSo’s powerful vocal high quality, the instrumental styles lifting their voice as it rings out with a comforting clarity. Typically instantly and indirectly touching on the nuances of their nonbinary id and Korean heritage, NoSo now graciously will take us with them in their musical time machine, checking out their childhood property, their dreams, fears and queer longings, developing photograph great times by this driftingly hypnagogic soundtrack.
Hwong’s expertise lies not only in audio-earning but in producing vivid, cinematic pictures with their lyricism and instrumentation, no doubt aided by their enjoy of screenwriting. Teaching themself creation in lockdown also honed this means to sculpt autonomous sonic landscapes and their development can be listened to in the marriage of bed room pop beats with substantial-res output which they use to deliver us into their planet.
We check out this play out in standout single ‘Suburbia’, Hwong’s gentle stacked vocals lying delicate on clean guitar and cloud like synths that make for an addictive melody. Thrillingly immersive, the track chronicles a difficult connection in the quiet suburban daily life in which Hwong was lifted, managing to seize the monotony of suburbia although nevertheless clouded in a hesitant nostalgia. “Stay the very same with out me…” Hwong sighs across the synths.
Drawing from a myriad of musical models, the album drifts from St. Vincent-like gritty electro beats on ‘Honey Understand’ to the gentle guitar arpeggios that permeate ‘I Sense You’, afterwards exploding into a Mitski design 80’s synth crack, tangled guitar emitting an urgent rhythm.
References to queerness in the course of the album are personal and truthful, digging via the bones of Hwong’s struggle for acceptance the two from themself, their companions and from the entire world around them. ‘David’ shines a spotlight on the intersectional nature of race and gender, detailing a aspiration where Hwong walked as a result of the world as a white cis gentleman and watched how otherwise they have been addressed.
‘Feeling Like A Female Lately’ yet again wrestles with the impossibility to quantify gender. “I was as soon as a very girl too” an exclamation that carries these excess weight echoes out casually more than jangling guitar.
Closing monitor ‘Everything I’ve Got’ seeks to encapsulate NoSo’s advancement equally as a person and as an artist. The lyrical intimacy that we experience NoSo will develop into recognised for reverberates softly and the typical instrumentation is joined by a more substantial than lifetime orchestral swell, the strings and trumpets carrying us up to the highest peak on this emotional rollercoaster.
NoSo normally takes a considerably tentative step into the gentle with ‘Stay Very pleased Of Me’, clasping possibly much too tricky to humility thinking of the width of their resourceful prowess. Joining the likes of Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus in their stark emotional realism, NoSo delivers their intensely poignant views and bravely lays them bare.
Terms: Oshen Douglas McCormick