Hailing from the green hills and roving rivers of beautiful Portland, Oregon, pop-rock quintet The Noted seem to relish in being understated and underrated. Though their records have been spun on radio waves worldwide, they keep a low profile and continue to write honest songs about the human experience in modern times. Throughout their distinguished discography, listeners can hear masterful singer-songwriter Daniel Work trading his-and-hers vocals with Angela Baldino, backed by the cinematic sounds of bassist John Dwyer, guitarist Jeff Koch, and drummer Mike Snyder. Their songs emulate and evolve the sounds of pop through the ages, combining the melodic majesty of acts like Paul McCartney (with whom Work shares his birthday) with the mellifluous melancholy of the ’90s and ’00s. The band draws on a broad range of experiences in the music and entertainment world (Mel Brooks once yelled through an 80-piece studio orchestra, “Mike Snyder, you are my favorite drummer in the world!”) to continue to develop their sound and give their own take on the times. Take a long drive and get to know The Noted by listening to their 2020 album Lost & Found—you might just find a piece of yourself in their sumptuous sounds.
Another great place to start getting to know these ponderous Portlandians is with their most recent release, “I Am.” On the somber track, Work reflects on what it means to be an American in our polarized times. Rather than a protest song or rageful rebellion, this tune offers that our common brotherhood goes beyond geographic boundaries or political affiliations. Creative layering of percussion with wandering bass and foundational piano lines lay a vast landscape for Work’s words to work wonders alongside Koch’s searching and soaring guitar.
The music video for “I Am” curates a gentle dreamscape of the America that The Noted yearns for, with black-and-white photography by Work and contributor Lane Weinberg. In our journey through the stills, we encounter not just Americans from all walks of life but also a reflection of our own lives—the simple day-to-day interactions and responsibilities that we all endure—the extraordinary in the ordinary. The video’s simplicity calls viewers to unite around the mundane struggles we face to make a life worth living rather than squabbling over petty issues and heady dramas. Restore your faith in our common foundations with this breath of fresh air from The Noted.