Week in Pop: Night Shapes, Roz & the Rice Cakes, Self Care

Sjimon Gompers

Providence, Rhode Island's radicals Roz and the Rice Cakes; press photo courtesy of Jorge Vieira Photography.

Noah Engel

Insights from Noah Engel; press photo courtesy of the artist.

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Featured off the new album Rock Soup, Noah Engel offered look at the video made with Spencer Holden & Mischa Aletta for “Rock Cinema” that the artist introduced with the notion of:

A powerpoint presentation is given to an audience of cars set at the side of a road near the edge of a pond.

Created, performed, produced & recorded by Engels at his residence located at 42 Round Pond Lane, Sag Harbor NY; Noah paints personal pop portraits that mix memories with their resonating relevance through some inspired motor stepping rhythm chord measures. Noah Engel’s music extendes inspired aesthetics from inner musings that are conveyed in DIY audio projections that harness the never ending potential & power of dissonance.

Noah Engel’s “Rock Cinema” opens up with animated curtains to present the singer pleasantly situated stationary on an amphitheater stage where a host of animated items begin to join the artist as the song commences. Engel’s lyrics inspire drawings of pets, to projected stock images & snails & noses & more that entertain Noah’s lyrical interplays visually. As the cinema for the ear of “Rock Cinema” carries forward, the images take on a more surreal style & take over the entire visuals until the animated curtains conclude all the brilliant bedroom pop action.

Noah Engel talked about the new song, video & album via the following exclusive reflections:

The “Rock Cinema” music video was directed by Spencer Holden, Mischa Aletta, and Noah Engel. “Rock Cinema”, the hit single from Noah Engel’s Rock Soup, is an apartment-rock ode to aimless joy set to video. It features drawings and animation by Mischa, performance by Noah, and staging by Spencer. A powerpoint presentation delivered to an audience of cars, set along the side of a road near the edge of a pond.

I always felt a disconnect between making videos and making rock & roll. After we left NYU, the former seemed very divorced from real time individual expression and caught up in cobwebs and bureaucracy. I left feeling uninspired, until I started working in the video production headquarters of my former high school and met Spencer Holden, a Cal Arts alumni, home schooled video artist, who I collaborated with on the music video. We started stealing cameras from work after hours and during lunch breaks and starting making a lot of films together. For me it really invigorated the whole process. It kind of united my relationship to writing and performing music to making movies. It became a more personal and fluid means of expression, which is always what songwriting has been to me. And with that realization “Rock Cinema”, both song and video were born. Both right around the same time actually, maybe about two or three weeks apart. We then got animator, artist, and good friend, Mischa Aletta, to help us create the animations and figure out a visual style which we liked to call eclectic minimalism. We wanted something that looked a little rough around the edges to celebrate process rather than the product, which has always been my mantra when making anything. I think that’s the most exciting part about art in all media. The curtains open, the instruments and video panels come together to form the music video. All set on a backdrop of rough watercolor paper.

Noah Engel’s Rock Soup is available now.

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