Israeli indie-folk newbie Loren Noyman has been keeping quiet for the last couple of years, with her last release arriving in November 2020. Now, it appears she is back and as elegant as ever with the poignant single “Emmanuel”.
When Noyman first stepped onto the scene in 2018 with debut single “Battle War”, she very clearly stated that she was an indie-folk artist through and through. Sparkly guitars, light drum beats and a signature whimsical vocal. All these key features come back on “Emmanuel”, but things have improved a lot over her small hiatus. The production is more sophisticated, the instrumentals are more lucious and there’s a real sense of charm to be found.
I felt that charm as soon as I hit play, as the sound of beach waves crashing and the unforgettable sound of a vinyl record crackling in the background came together for the intro. I was impressed, and my love for “Emmanuel” grew and grew as the track went on.
After the intro, some heavily washed out sounding piano chords fill the track with a strong sense of melancholy. Loren Noyman’s commanding yet gentle voice comes out of the dark to grace the ears of the listener as she describes the titular Emmanuel as a “waterfall.” Already, thanks to the reverb-heavy vocals and descriptive lyrics, I feel totally at ease and could let the track carry me away.
The verse grows and grows with a comforting chord progression and some underlying low piano notes to add warmth. As the verse goes into its second phase, a guitar enters both the left and right channel, a bass guitar is introduced and a simple, feathery drum beat fills in the rest of the gap. It’s a marvelous sound and gives so much life to this already impressive track.
Loren Noyman expressing her love while acoustic guitars strum away is a joy to listen to, and that joy is elevating to heights I wasn’t quite ready for when the chorus hits. It somehow manages to sound even more heavenly, like Noyman turned up the soul by a couple of notches.
This is where I have to give nothing but praise to Noam Shemesh, the one responsible for arrangement and production on “Emmanuel”. It’s clean, it’s warm and full of heart. These two work incredibly well together and I hope they partner up for an upcoming album.
Lyrically, however, the chorus ends up taking an unexpected turn. What was believed to be a song full of love and affection is actually a heartbreaking tale of a woman who is in love with this man, but for whatever reason has to leave him behind. This is explained quite plainly with these key lines:
We’re afraid of what the heart desires
Will he notice that I’m about to fly away?
Time has no end while I’m beside him
Will he notice we’re about to say goodbye?
It’s a whirlwind of emotions that I haven’t felt in a song in a very long time, and is definitely up there with musical moments I was not expecting.
The second verse that follows the chorus follows a very similar pattern to the first.
But just when you thought the track couldn’t elevate itself higher, we arrive at the bridge.
Swirling string sections and Pink Floyd-esque guitar swells fill the track to heights that continue to dazzle, but leave as soon as they get started.
“Emmanuel” truly is a beautifully written song in every way possible, and embodies a style of folk that I sincerely hope Loren Noyman can fulfill once again in the future. It’s a song that will age like a fine wine, and I’ll certainly be going back for seconds.