Cedric Noel Confirms Allegiances in His “Allies” Video

The Montreal-based songwriter’s new album Hang Time arrives November 12 via Joyful Noise and Forward Music Group.

From the singles we’ve heard so far, Montreal native Cedric Noel’s new album Hang Time spans the distance from the minimal, near-ambient folk of opener “Comuu” to the pounding yet equally lush “Nighttime (Skin),” which both boast the songwriter’s soft-yet-prominent vocals. With the third single, “Allies,” Noel teases a sense of mounting intensity to the tail end of the album which ultimately bursts in a cacophony of instruments. “I had been trying to write a song like this for a good while,” Noel explains. “There were a ton of versions of songs about the same subject matter that I scrapped before I arrived at this one. Like most of my songs, this one just fell out one day in a matter of minutes. It felt honest and true to me, so I kept it. For some reason I wanted some kind of cacophony for the ending. Once I added it, the song felt finished.”

The lyrics to “Allies” notably feature the songwriter confirming the allegiance of those close to him with the repetition of the lyrics “Are you on my side” paired with an audio clip of a Malcolm X speech. “Like many of the songs on the album, I wrote this one when I was pondering both the genuineness and strength of the allyship in my life, and how it intertwines with trust,” he continues. “Repeating the words ‘Are you on my side’ felt necessary…almost like a constant reminder. 

Along with the new single, Noel is sharing a visual for the track, which sees him intensely reciting the song’s lyrics in something of a baptismal situation (that or it’s the most theatrical, unflinching ice bucket challenge I’ve ever seen). Check it out below, and pre-order the new record here.

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