A natural successor to some of the biggest names in post-punk and art-rock, Noise is the solo project of Will Marshall, a New Zealand-English-American singer, composer and multi-instrumentalist. Born to a Kiwi doctor and a Malawian biochemist, he fled a calcifying career in academia to dedicate himself, body and soul, to music.
Endowed with a massive, rich baritone, akin to a less demonic Nick Cave, or Matt Berninger without the mumbling, Will is an accomplished songwriter, composer and arranger, working with a palette borrowed from contemporary art-rock, modernist composers, the weirder edges of electronic music, indie pop, folk balladry and Shakespearean theatre.
Thematically, Will’s work as Noise is characterised by diversity of influence, maturity, emotional intensity and intricate lyricism, channeling the cheerful pessimism of a generation whose future is careening off the environmental precipice. Darkly witty and with a trickster’s eye for comedy, his songs deal with sex, death, love and religion in roughly equal measure, influenced as much by poets like T.S. Eliot, W.H. Auden and John Berryman as lyricists like Leonard Cohen, Nick Cave, Neil Young and Johnny Cash.
Musically, Noise is sweeping and dramatic, sometimes humming softly and sweetly, sometimes thrashing with explosive anger. Equally enthused by the subtleties of chamber music and the monstrous concoctions of industrial rock, Will’s work is eclectically coherent; weaving a myriad of jet-black influences into a self-sufficient, self-supporting surrealist’s tapestry.
Noise’s first EP, Is This Heaven? is due late in 2019. Rooted firmly in a mythological present, filled with living gods, technological alienation and apocalypse lurking beyond the horizon, it’s built from intricate rock rhythms, electronic experimentation, lush soundscapes, and darkly poetic lyricism.