It’s hard to get a pulse on NoMBe, not because his music isn’t vibrant or profound, but because it’s a mysterious mix of electronic, soul, folk, possibly punk and daringly pop (all at the same time). Noah MacBeth, the man behind the music, is the godson of Chaka Khan and has already had the fortune of falling into good favor with Pharrell—musically blessed at birth and validated on his own accord. With the release of his first studio album on the horizon They Might’ve Even Loved Me (TH3RDBRAIN, January 2018) NoMBe’s traction is only building. On Wednesday night he gave fans an intimate preview of his musical lore at New York City’s Rough Trade.
The stage was set in minimal kitsch (two bare-torsoed mannequins—one man, one woman—and a sole typewriter, table, and chair) immediately raised eyebrows. The story being told is sweet and simple, it’s a love story (or a story of love lost). NoMBe explains, halfway through his set, that all the songs on his album are about women in his life (from his mother to former lovers, to could have been love interests). The mixed emotions towards these women read impeccably well in both lyric and melody—never confused and always enchanting. NoMBe's spirit and energy play well live, as he interacts with his all-female backed band, the audience, and the stage (at times writhing on the ground in sheer ecstasy of it all). It's clear not only by the sold-out show but by the fans who cry out the chorus of NoMBe's bigger singles ("Wait" and "California Girls"), that NoMBe is already a hit.