Noumad’s debut EP ‘Places We Could Stop’ captures six years of emotions and sonic exploration

The EP blends nostalgia, loss, and love in a rich sonic landscape
Noumad in his element
Noumad in his element

London-based indie singer-songwriter Noumad has finally released his latest EP, Places We Could Stop. The playlist contains songs that have been both released and unreleased and are sonically vast-sounding. A passion project of the artiste, Places We Could Stop, is a testament to the work that Noumad has put in since 2018.

Noumad’s journey in formulating this album is reflected in the themes he attempts to explore through the EP. “Friends and peers encouraged me, telling me that the nostalgia, love, separation, loss, regret, and disillusionment that feature as lyrical themes on Places We Could Stop were things they felt too,” the musician explains. 

This relatability among listeners observed by him pushed Noumad to explore his potential further. “These exact emotions also define the sonic landscape of the record. The production is driven by guitar arps with warm tones, rich vocal harmonies, and lush, spiralling sound design to throw the listener into an ocean of emotions,” he says talking about the composition of the scores of the song.

“I also used ambience to contextualise the imagined settings where each song’s journey begins - the unbridled joy of listening to waves crashing on the beach, the sound of a train rattling along the tracks when someone you loved moved away, the cold rain pouring down, leaving you isolated and alone. The result is a searing landscape that above all else, yearns for home, for snatches of past selves you left behind, for people you’d love to love again, for places you could just, stop,” he added.

EP cover artwork
EP cover artwork

In a previous interview with Indulge, Noumad spoke about Lost, the second song in this EP. “Lost is a lament for memories and relationships wasted away in our youth. It is also about the feeling you’re left with in the aftermath of separation and heartbreak—bitterness, isolation, and regret. So ultimately, the song is also a realization—that remaining stuck with regret is not an option. The movement of Lost is what makes it powerful and yet different from most songs about breakups, I would say,” he mentioned earlier.

However, it is in the guitar-driven score of the first track, Polaroid, that the use of the ambience sounds in the score really stands out. “Lost bleeds into Red Flags, a feisty, explosive piece of electronic music that regrets endless nights spent yearning for someone who takes you for granted, regardless of how damaging your relationship with the person was. Mixing towering saw-wave synth leads and glitchy percussions with a tender piano piece, the song represents my signature production style,” the singer adds. 

The latter half of the Ep comprises Caffeine (in Cold Water) and Intzaar (feat. Gini, Aryan Nabar, and Amenn Wihaan). Noumad mentions that the former would make one reminisce the music from Phoebe Bridgers, Boygenius, and Coldplay, and is the oldest track produced for this project.

"It marks the hopeful pinnacle of the record, talking quite literally about how I used iced americanos as a coping mechanism, a “new divine” to overcome the gloom of isolation and depression," he highlights. Intzaar, on the other hand, concludes the EP on a melancholic note with its Hindi-Urdu lyrics. Noumad describes it as "a romantic ballad featuring flourishes of experimental electronic production, not least in its stuttered-vocal driven outro where the feeling of loss, heartbreak, and unimaginable distance reaches its peak."

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All in all, Places We Could Stop, being a debut EP from a rising artiste excels not only in telling the tale of woven using the fabric of emotions experienced by Noumad, but it does so magically with fresh-sounding scores and an immensely grounded and personal approach. The relatability and realism introduced by the young musician is a testament to what indie musicians are capable of and what they can produce.

Places We Could Stop is streaming on Spotify and other audio streaming services.

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