For her latest record Spectrum, German artist/activist Noah Sow (aka Noiseaux) has ditched the guitar-based alt rock of her debut and gone full on electroclash. It's a surprising left turn from an artist who makes a point of making surprising left turns whenever possible. Calling the new sound Elektro Loop Afro Chanson, Noiseaux makes it clear that she's as punk as ever with explosive tracks like “I Have a Loaded Voice” and “Nodemocracy.”
Noiseaux describes the new sound as part of a “movement rooted in reclaiming popular music such as Punk and Elektro as intrinsically Black music, making a ruckus on stage with its own blend of genres to break stereotypes about who a punk-rocker or elektro nerd is and what they look like.” Most surprisingly, relegating the guitar to only one of many textures has allowed Noiseaux to tap into a pure vocal fierceness. Songs like “Insert Insult Here (Privilege Constipation)” and “Pink Gurl” revel in the ugliness and aggression that lurk beneath a sparkling exterior. Shimmering new wave and Noiseaux's always stunning voice become the sugar to make the vitriolic kiss-off go down. And anyway, who says telling someone off can't have a killer dance beat?
Noiseaux is one of the rare artists (given Noah Sow's wide ranging creative interests, that really is Artist with a capital A (which also stands for Anarchy and rhymes with pool or something...)) whose blog is as worthwhile as her music. Noah Sow's daily missives on race, religion, and sexuality are not to be missed. Check her out at noiseaux.tumblr.com.
- Words by Nathan Leigh