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Letter from the Editor + Video: The Noah Kahan Consequence Cover Story

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I first saw Noah Kahan at last year’s edition of Boston Calling. I laudatorily dubbed him a “second-tier headliner” in my review of the fest, writing, “New England’s newest favorite son has fostered a major connection with a younger generation – and honestly it’s a bit head-scratching as to why.” Just 10 days shy of a year later, and there’s no question about either his resonance or his status as he graces the latest Consequence cover story, Noah Kahan: Out of the Sticks, Into the Fire.

I’d heard rumblings about this rising singer-songwriter before, but hadn’t really paid attention until that Boston Calling lineup dropped. He was billed third, right after The Lumineers and Alanis Morisette, ahead of The Flaming Lips, and in the same relative spot as one of my all-time favorite bands, The National.

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I was curious, and dove into the album that I now can’t get out of my head: Stick Season. I even got a chance to interview him ahead of the festival, pegging him as a local star excited to play his “hometown” festival’s 10th anniversary blowout. Being a native New Englander myself, I was admittedly endeared by the record and the artist. But third billed? Seems a bit premature, no?

As it was, no. If anything, he was underbilled. Even as his music got deeper under my skin (in a good way) over the next year, I was still utterly intrigued by how this folk-pop artist — “stomp and holler,” if you must — had gained such a massive fanbase in 2024. I watched as his profile increased exponentially, now topping festival bills and selling out arenas, collaborating with everyone from Post Malone to Gregory Alan Isakov. I had to understand how he did it all.

So, I asked him. Over two interviews, I asked him every journalistic version of “Why you?” I could think of. But it turns out, more interesting than the “why” was the “how” — as in, “How is this Vermont native with well-documented anxiety dealing with all this fame? And how is he going to reconcile everything when it comes time to create his next album?”

These are tough questions to ask someone right before they have to play a headlining gig. You don’t want to be the one who triggers someone’s self-doubt and ruins the show. Thankfully, Kahan is as open in conversation as he is in his songwriting. Speaking of his imposter syndrome, the complex impact fame has had on his music and his psyche, and grounding himself amidst all the bright lights, Kahan revealed his earnest nature, nullifying any more questions of “why.”

Fittingly timed for Mental Health Awareness Month, read all Kahan had to say in our cover story, Noah Kahan: Out of the Sticks, Into the Fire. You can also watch part of the interview recorded at Topeka’s Moon Crush Pink Moon festival in the video player above or via YouTube, and see our official magazine cover below. Then watch Kahan in person when he picks up the next leg of his “We’ll All Be Here Forever” tour later this month by getting tickets here.

Photo by Pooneh Ghana

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