There’s something about being named Noah that makes you dream apocalyptically.
When frontman Noah Lit was faced with the collapse of his former indie rock band Oliver Future, he took what he saw as the only next logical step, put aside the electric guitar, and dove into the world of gypsy jazz. As he dug deeper into the dizzying scales, arpeggios and antiquated chords and patterns of this new venture, Lit found a concealed wealth of songs surfacing in a form that quickly became Noah And The MegaFauna. His new sound: a clamorous sweat-filled ruckus of whiskey and sing-a-longs on the eve of destruction. Noah’s new found passions found him calling upon the diversity of his record collection and creating a combination of influences that while once were founded in rock bands like The Kinks, Radiohead and The Beatles, now also included jazz artists Django Reinhardt, Charles Mingus, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong and genre benders Tom Waits, Bob Dylan, Jacques Brel and Leonard Cohen. Simply put by Noah himself, “Anthems for a Stateless Nation” is a humble attempt at making a record that sounds like my record collection.” What resulted is a narrative caravan through moments of torrential downpours and shiftless shadows followed by the blissful warmth of a calm you hope will stay for good.
Once Noah Lit’s pen took on this ambitious new task he quickly enrolled longtime friend and accomplished producer Adam Lasus (Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Yo La Tengo, Clem Snide) to help build his dynamic vision. Quickly joined by the efforts of his brother and long time collaborator Joshua Lit (Oliver Future) on backing vocals, piano and accordion and a rhythm section of Shiben Battacharaya on upright bass, Chris Lovejoy on drums and Travis Knight on percussion, the record took it’s first breathe at Lasus’ Los Angeles studio Fireproof Recording in November of 2010. With each track growing rapidly and naturally into a lush bed of guitar driven gypsy pop Noah soon enlisted his younger brother Gabriel Lit in New York City to provide horn and string arrangements as well as play clarinet and bass clarinet on the record. In order to best capture his new eight piece horn section and the severely talented violinist Wen Chang, Noah sought out a special environment and traveled to New York City to record with friend and producer Joe Rogers (Kelli Scarr, The Shivers, Moby) at his unique studio space Silence Breaks atop a elementary school in the South Bronx. The devastating horn section, littered with New York City’s best young, up and coming jazz musicians screamed, squawked and honked in moments of fury and passion and harnessed a warmth and subtly in quieter moments that also balanced well with the cinematic air provided by the vast array of female guest vocalists. Amongst the record’s guest vocalists are Kat Edmonson, Marianne Dissard, Emily St. Amand-Poliakoff and Mindy Gaspar. The end result is a dramatic dialogue recounting a tale of pre, and post-apocalyptic displacement, wandering, panic and ultimate redemption laced within the narrative of a gypsy pop record.
Also lending their talents to “Anthems for a Stateless Nation” are world renowned gypsy guitarist Gonzalo Bergara playing bandoneon and lead guitar and Steve Ferrone (Tom Petty and the Heart Breakers, George Harrison) playing drums on “We Knew We Had It Coming” and “Those Already Blessed”. The project also provided Noah with a special opportunity to collaborate with several of his favorite writers. Josh Lit, and Noah’s friends Josh Seidenfeld (Boy in the Bubble) and William Chancellor (author: A Brave Man 7 Stories Tall), helped craft lyrics and imagery for several songs. Additionally, the perfect companion to the album was created by the visual artwork of artist Michael Garza (A Scanner Darkly, Oliver Future).
The end result is a record conceived, recorded to tape, mastered and completed within six months time, embodying the first solo project of Noah Lit, but yet ultimately reflecting a greater vision brought together by collaboration, trust, and friendship. Noah And The MegaFauna’s “Anthems for a Stateless Nation” is nightmare pop, a modern day allegory of Noah’s Arc, a narrative tale of global warming, indie folk with jazz for a right hook, a big band swinging, a small gypsy ensemble moaning, a convergence of influence and orchestration that represents the ever shrinking world we live in, a wanderer’s diary played on instruments that can be carried on your back, a singer/songwriter/indie/gypsy/jazz record that dares it’s player’s to growl, squawk, squeak, and squeal, and it’s listeners to climb aboard for an eclectic but determined vision of the future.
Noah And The MegaFauna’s “Anthems for a Stateless Nation” will proudly be released on the Brooklyn based indie label Silence Breaks on October 18th, 2011.