Monday, December 18, 2023

Jeff's Best of 2023 - #2: Noble Dust - A Picture for a Frame

Sometimes an album from a local act comes out of nowhere, grabs you by the lapel, and refuses to let go. That's what Noble Dust did this year with A Picture for a Frame.

In many ways, this album is Jeff catnip - it's folk-adjacent music with soaring instrumental choices, but also inspired by historical letters between the lead singer's grandparents during World War II. The total package creates a timeless-sounding record that feels like it would come out of a brewpub in 2023 or a rural tavern in 1923. It's just a beautiful record, with so many lovely little choices throughout - the distant-sounding trumpet, the strings, the lyricism of songs like "At Sea," the jaunty love song "Abbey" (which is probably my favorite song of the year)... it all just works and needs to be heard to truly appreciate.

Noble Dust doesn't have a ton of Spotify listeners, and they're a Boston-area act that deserves to be at the top of everyone's playlists. A Picture for a Frame is a revelation that shows the best of what folk music can accomplish.

Songs of Note: "At Last, At Home," "In Fields," "Abbey," "At Sea," "Last Dance at the Grove"

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