The Max Satow-led Noshows has built a reputation as a fiercely creative multi-genre New York City band playing many of the city’s coveted venues. Satow’s acumen as a producer has further enriched the band’s heady sound. Their aims, however, reach far beyond mere entertainment. Satow and his cohorts want Noshows’ music to be a tool in elevating the common bonds we share and opening up our understanding of human consciousness. The band’s latest single “Slow Up” is a prime example of this mission statement in action. It’s the sort of song that will likely open up a broader audience, as well, for the band as the song’s theme will undoubtedly resonate with countless listeners.
Struggles with anxiety, an often crippling and even life-threatening ailment, is a subject that many of us will know all too well. Satow has an intimate understanding of the effects anxiety can wreak on the lives of loved ones as his uncle took his own life. To be able to translate that into musical art is no small feat, but to transform it into a song as powerful and musically adept as “Slow Up” is even more astonishing. It opens with a smattering of electronic effects and slinky guitar that sets the tone for everything that follows.
What follows is a melodic song in earnest, despite the flash. The groove is deep, driven by straight-ahead percussion, but it doesn’t stop there. Satow’s vocals are the key. They are every bit as much a part of the groove as anything else and the vocal melody supplies a key counterpart for the percussion. I’m truly impressed with his arranging skills in this department, though he’s certainly an all-arounder. It’s quite catchy and depicting such a severe subject in an appealing way sets him apart from countless peers. It’s a mark of true artistry.
He doesn’t weigh the track down with heavy verbiage. Satow is too canny for that. Instead, the lyrics express truisms that are far from trite. His vocal arrangement highlights, as well, the considerable talents of guest hip hop performer Audley Short, the Jamaican/Puerto Rican performer delivers an authoritative yet intensely rhythmic vocal outing that will have many convinced, if they aren’t already, that she’s a global star in the making. It’s a bit of a masterstroke bringing her talents to bear on an already outstanding track. Satow’s further highlights his respect for her vocal prowess by the ample space he affords her in “his” own song.
The song’s coda is particularly astonishing. The track “fades” out, the percussion falling away, into Satow’s electronically altered voice delivering his final message to listeners. It makes for a compelling bookend with the song’s intro. Noshows’ “Slow Up” makes its points in less than three minutes, sounds fantastic in the hands of such a talented producer, and has enormous promise in a live setting. It isn’t difficult imagining a large crowd singing along with the chorus. It’s likewise easy to imagine many people loving this song and heeding its important message.