On the Bandcamp pages for “Summer Muses” and “MaPaw,” the delightfully trippy, loudly distorted and atmospherically expansive lead singles from Noah Fardon aka Good Service’s debut album Please, the singer/songwriter emphasizes that these tracks were “Mixed Specifically for Headphone Listening.” That’s definitely the best way to experience the subtle nuances and intricate details in the massive wall of sonic energy Fardon surrounds his deep philosophies of life with.
From the wildly ominous atmospheres swirling around Fardon’s ethereal vocals on “And a Foot” to the hypnotic languid guitar peppered dream scape of “The End,” Please is “Dark Side of the Moon” for the post modern alt indie world, a mind bending, reality-distorting, philosophically insightful soundscape in search of grounded explanations for the unfathomable mysteries of life. Not that the artist intends for us to hear every word – his vocals generally waft distantly among walls of sound that would make Phil Spector blush, daring us to pick out a phrase or two – but for those persistent in their listening, he offers a lot of fascinating food for thought.
“Summer Muses” is about a neverland of drug use (provided by his fictional muse Mel) that can harm but is generally good for exploring your inner self and contemplating those existential uncertainties. And if you can understand Fardon’s wild ramblings about “MaPaw” – whose opening line (“To the Ma’s and Pa’s of modern grief”) is full of devastating intrigue and wonder – you might just be on a wavelength far beyond mortal understanding.
Fardon is out there, providing a “good service” to those who prefer to think and experience music in unconventional ways. There are hints at earthly romance past and present in off-kilter tunes like “Washington Avenue” and the meditative “94” (perhaps an ode to his birth year?). You can’t really appreciate this otherworldly synthesis of sonic stardust unless you know Fardon’s backstory. In a nutshell, this offbeat masterpiece of trippy-cool oddness stems from the Nashville native’s self-imposed exile in a 9’x7’ wooden box in what is now a gallery space in Portland, Maine.
He spent two years writing and recording in musical and spatial isolation (exile?) designed to free him of old conventional habits. Much of the lyrical thrust grew out of his sudden need to understand the deeper meanings of life and mortality in light of his grandmother’s terminal diagnosis and subsequent passing. You can imagine this beloved woman transitioning into the light, appreciating her grandson’s tap into the divine nature of things in ways we earthbound can only aspire to.