Hailing from the small town of Strafford, Vermont, Noah Kahan grew an overnight fanbase when he posted the bones of an almost-complete verse to a song he wrote on a whim to TikTok.
In an interview with Hrishikesh Hirway of the Song Exploder podcast, Kahan explains, "I started writing about a person that doesn't want to stay in one place but can't leave, and that feeling of separation."
LISTEN NOW: Song Exploder: Noah Kahan - Stick Season
Still living with his parents, the "Stick Season" singer tried to emulate the feeling of being stuck - both physically and emotionally, when someone leaves you, and you recognize some of it may be on you.
Thinking the verse was just a bit funny and might even "suck" a little, he sought social media validation. It didn't come immediately, but sleeping on it gave him the 600-comment push to write more.
"I had half of a song, and people really liked it, and I knew I needed to write a chorus, which was a little bit daunting," Kahan explains.
With an ingrained love of music, Kahan knew the power in "a song lyric that just hit the nail on the head" with a hard-to-articulate feeling and looked towards providing that same comfort for others when finishing the song that would eventually garner over 10 million plays on TikTok.
Kahan describes the recording of the song as "fun and energetic, but not too self-serious," with the addition of harmonies and a banjo line creating a fun ode to his roots. "It felt like home to me in a lot of ways," he says of the final version of "Stick Season."
While the song has launched Kahan into a music career he could only dream of just a short while before its release, he doesn't hold any more love for the pre-winter blues of "stick season" in Vermont. "I could write a million songs about stick season, and I would still hate it."
Listen to the full episode of Song Exploder above.
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