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The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

REVIEW: Noah Kahan’s “Stick Season (Forever)” is a heartfelt, intimate ending to a journey through change and growth

Isis Debrock / Hilltop Views
“Stick Season (Forever)” is heartbreaking and heartwarming, and easily one of the best albums that has ever been released, which makes it extremely deserving of five out of five goats.

“Stick Season” has been the soundtrack for those that moved away from home since its original release in 2022. It’s for those that go back knowing that the place is still the same, but they are not. It’s for those that reminisce on the little moments and the things and people that were lost along the way. 

For two years, folk singer-songwriter and Grammy nominee Noah Kahan led us in an intimate, gentle and honest journey through change and growth, presenting us with its final chapter in his latest album “Stick Season (Forever).”

In those two years, we have seen the “Stick Season” world expand, from 14 songs — including the title track “Stick Season,” “Northern Attitude” and “All My Love” — to 30 in the final chapter, released on Feb. 9. 

In between both versions, we were gifted with seven new tracks — such as the heartfelt “Call Your Mom” — in “Stick Season (We’ll All Be Here Forever).” 

The biggest surprise, however, was when Kahan announced his first feature of the series: “Dial Drunk (with Post Malone).” The collaboration started a collection of features, ranging from Hozier to Lizzy McAlpine — two of my favorite single releases. The new versions were released from July of last year until his latest announcement in January: “You’re Gonna Go Far (with Brandi Carlisle)” and “Paul Revere (with Gregory Alan Isakov).” 

Better than all the amazing features — which now make it almost impossible to listen to their original versions — was the highly anticipated “Forever,” a song that the Vermont native singer had been teasing on social media for months prior to its release. Snippets of the song went viral on TikTok and last week, fans were finally presented with its glorious, gentle and sweet 4 minutes and 28 seconds.

Kahan’s voice is unique, welcoming the listeners into the world he built and guiding us through feelings like pain, loss, love and longing that we all have experienced at some point. He creates an environment where those feelings are seen and the audience feels comfortable. 

Listening to his music feels like you are talking to a friend — someone who is just like you. It is the kind of music that makes you want to go on a drive and let all of those feelings out. It makes you want to move to a small town in the Northeast or in the Pacific Northwest. It makes you want to hug your parents and your friends tighter than usual, kiss your loved ones and declare your feelings to that one person. “Stick Season (Forever)” is a breath of fresh air and a warm hug all at once. 

As someone who has also moved away from home, I constantly experience the internal battle of wishing I was there again and knowing that I have outgrown that place: wishing that home still felt like it did when I was a child, but knowing that things will never be the same; missing the people that once were extremely important parts of my life, but knowing that some of them left for good — and that some of them are gone forever. Songs such as “The View Between Villages,” “Homesick” and “You’re Gonna Go Far” perfectly encompass those feelings. 

I have had favorite artists before and albums that I have loved, but never one that I could describe as my favorite, but after years of searching I have finally found it. The “Stick Season” series made me understand feelings that I had been bottling up. It got me through some of the biggest heartaches I have ever felt, but it has also made me smile like never before. 

“Stick Season (Forever)” is heartbreaking and heartwarming, and easily one of the best albums that has ever been released, which makes it extremely deserving of five out of five goats.

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About the Contributor
Anna Pratts
Anna Pratts, Sports Editor
Anna Pratts is a sophomore from Brazil and majoring in Writing and Rhetoric with a concentration in journalism and digital media and minoring in Global Studies. This is her second year writing for Hilltop Views and her first semester as Sports Editor. She loves writing about sports, especially soccer and basketball, but she is looking forward to exploring other areas and growing as a writer.

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