Noun – Fame and Famine (Stream)
by Steven Spoerl
Over the past 24 hours, there have been quality streams from the likes of Real Numbers, LA Font, Wild Pink, Two Houses, Super Unison, Planes Mistaken for Stars, Dennis Callaci, Tokyo Tea Room, Balance and Composure, Raccoon Fighter, and Turnip King. On top of that, there were a string of music videos that emerged from the camps of Slow Down Molasses, Odonis Odonis, LUH, La Lenguas, Magik Magik, Yohuna, Moses Sumney, Brendan Canning, and Makeunder. Providing the day with a welcome dash of finality were full streams that were unveiled by Magic Trick, Ski Saigon, and The Hecks.
As always, all of those entries linked above are worth jumping over to and exploring with a certain level of intensity. However, they weren’t all that wound up being released Thursday. Screaming Females‘ Marissa Paternoster’s Noun project made an unexpected return with the jagged, lo-fi “Fame and Famine”. Quietly uploaded to Paternoster’s tumblr, “Fame and Famine” winds up benefiting from a pre-established tone of unpredictability.
While Paternoster may get the most recognition for Screaming Females, Noun has proven to be a project just as worthy. 2010’s Holy Hell, a consistently overlooked triumph, may even be Paternoster’s finest record to date (though the last few Screaming Females records have been hitting some exhilarating highs). Noun’s consistently allowed Paternoster a wider range of possibilities, making a new entry into the project’s discography a tantalizing prospect.
For “Fame and Famine”, Paternoster takes a direct, immediate route that fully commits to its lo-fi aesthetic and elevates itself via a comprehensive understanding of the format. There’s a surprising amount of nuance in the ambient beds that swirl beneath the insistent, repetitive main section that serves as the engine of “Fame and Famine”. Enhancing the aggressive disconnect that manifests in the narrative of “Fame and Famine” is the artwork the song’s projected over, one of Paternoster’s characteristically striking chalk-based originals.
Everything packaged together winds up being as disconcerting as it does galvanizing. There’s a nervous undercurrent of stress that imbues every second of “Fame and Famine”, lending it a feeling of completeness that can be rare in demos. It’s a fascinating glimpse towards one of today’s most fascinating, tireless artists and it’s another in a long line of formidable examples of Paternoster’s creativity and commitment. Tenacious, unnerving, and more than memorable, “Fame and Famine” is one of the best surprise standalone releases of recent memory.
Listen to “Fame and Famine” below and keep an eye on this site for more updates on the project.