There’s a phase we’ve all heard before, a crotchety grunt of dissatisfaction towards the current state of the world: “kids today.” It’s meant to say that kids today are somehow inferior to the kids of the past. It also reminds me of “they don’t make these like they used to.” I’ve been thinking a lot about those funny little phrases that express that the new isn’t as good as the old. I may have even been feeling a bit of it myself. And then Left Bank came across NTHNL.
“Chemtrails” is a wonderfully and sensationally odd track. I expected nothing less from the artist that I can describe the same way. NTHNL crafts unique electronic songs both digitally and with multiple instruments, including brass and…a flute? The combination is an eclectic little cross between classical, jazz, and something akin to EDM. It is, without a doubt, the oddest thing I have ever heard. I absolutely love it.
So, I listen to NTHNL and contemplate those funny little sayings about how things aren’t as good as they used to be. I’ve decided that’s a cynical opinion. It comes up when TV, music, and trends continue along familiar until they just don’t resonate the same as the ones we loved when we were young. It’s probably why 80s nostalgia tracks are coming back. We’ve gotten enough distance and time away from the age and now we can appreciate the same feelings again. Which, honestly, I’m pleased about. I love neon colors and old synthesizers. But, even those old feelings can’t be perfectly recaptured, even when people are ready for them again. So the best way to avoid that often failing nostalgia is to create something fresh.
So “kids today” are experimenting with wild and bizarre sounds that many of us haven’t heard before. At least the ones who really stand out are.
What’s wrong with kids these days? Absolutely nothing. Just listen to NTHNL and you’ll hear what I’m talking about.