Rolling Stone / Tone Deaf / The Brag Record Of The Week!
Tyrone Noonan offers a track-by-track breakdown of his highly regarded album Utopia?
CHANGE MY MOOD
The one place I’ve spent more time as a resident than my hometown is New York. This song is a dedication to that tough, magical metropolis, tipping a hat to the crew from Max’s Kansas City in a tortured love poem, and celebrating a night in the life of an artist. After performing a few shows together at various haunts around the city, myself and fellow musician Dan Rosen (now ARIA CEO) decided to get together to write our New York song.
MY FAIR WEATHER FRIENDS
I think everyone can relate to this song, and particularly anyone who’s worked in the entertainment industry. I also wrote this song with a retired New York undercover detective turned songwriter/producer, so it includes his perspective. It’s about those people you meet who at one time appear to have your back, until such a time arises that you might actually need their help. It’s about learning life lessons from these experiences and not letting these people affect your energy or your trajectory.
ON MY KNEES
This is a song I wrote in one night of exuberance with two other Brisbane songwriters and musicians – John Drake and Eden James – while we were all based in London. Like the aforementioned Change My Mood, this is a pleading love song but also an ode to living and working in dear ol’ London town, with all the history and invitation to artistry it offers; and complete with a pub chorus La La La section!
POWER & DUST
Life is a continual cycle of change, which we seem to forget as we grow older. With this in mind we have become individuals who have a hunger for the external things in life, which in turn means the internal side of us suffers.
We lose connections with ourselves, our loved ones and life, and we mask this pain by placing our fears and anxieties upon the next generation and when one generation dies, the next carries the pain of the last.
This is seen all around the world and how we fear the differences of others rather than the similarities. For if we were to just watch how children play, maybe we could see that we ourselves have taken life too seriously and forgotten what it means to enjoy life and not fight for this thing called power for, in the end, we all end up as dust.
To anyone who ever got to know Grant McLennan of The Go-Betweens, he was a staunch supporter of any bands rising up through the Ric’s-Zoo et al apprenticeship of the 90s, which is how I first got to know Grant and also try one of his favourite Long Island Ice Teas ☺ Our friendship grew over time and eventually we got to writing together. This song, with its cheeky title, flips the idea of the Disneyesque princess into someone far more exotic, who seems at once ephemeral, perennial and seductively elemental. It’s also a question about the nature of love. In a bittersweet twist of fate, this is the only fully completed fruits of our labour, and indeed features his last known vocal recording prior to tragically departing this mortal coil.
This is an unabashed ode to Mother Earth and a call to all of us in privileged positions to stand up right now to do our part, i.e. to take some action on a local, national or international level to try and help turn the tide of the planet’s current course. The song aims, in simple terms, to express the feelings of the amazing people risking their futures and livelihoods as part of global movements such as Extinction Rebellion, trying to force the world’s leaders – on all levels – to effect real change to the ongoing impact of the 2nd Industrial Revolution and intertwined western greed, as soon as possible. People power is vastly underestimated; although it’s encouraging to see that realisation slowly coming to the fore throughout the world.
Truth is a song reflecting on the times we live in; partly inspired by Rudolph W. Giuliani’s famous quote: “Truth is not truth”. Through those with power across all of society and their continual obsession with greed, corruption, manipulation, narcissism and of course power itself, we see the world that we live in today. And yet, thanks to brave whistleblowers, ethical journalists, hackers and others, the actual truth seems to continue to make its way to the surface; a positive by-product of the digital era. We can’t thank those people enough, those who are prepared to share the load – often at personal risk – to help make the world a better place for others. Truth can still bring
down the mighty, it can bring more accountability, it can bring justice and it can enforce positive societal change.
This is a song with a yearning for perfection, which of course is a dangerous idea in itself as history has proven time and time again; hence the question mark. Of course it would be wonderful if the oceans, the land and the atmosphere weren’t poisoned, that governments were fair and just, that most of the world’s religions were not full of hypocrisies, that there was enough food and resources for all human beings (which of course there already is), that communities cared and nurtured for all of their constituents, that Wall St was not the most gonzo casino ever invented, and that unconditional love was a way of life … but that’s not the world we live in. Striving for perfection is dangerous – this goes back to the earliest myths – but secretly, perhaps all of us with a will for consciousness dream of such things.
As part of a recurring general theme of this album, this song reflects on the state of the world and our personal journeys within this reality. It’s about daring to be in the moment and open to the possibility of enjoying the most wonderful day of your life, and committing to the idea of a lasting love. It also recognises the futility of war and the senseless deaths it causes every day. It’s about people waking up all over the world to what’s really going on and demanding better. It’s celebrating the fact that most people in the world, despite what the constant negative news cycle might say, are inherently good and just want to live in peace.
Artist: Tyrone Noonan
Label: Frontal Lobe Productions
Release Date: October 23, 2020