Isla Noon is back. Today the shimmering, alt-pop artist releases her new single ‘Body,’ an arresting and spellbinding reclamation of self. Premiering on Pile Rats, 'Body' was described as "triumphant and commanding alt-pop" which "strikes a satisfying balance between laidback drums and lush synths with big, overblown arrangements, all the while keeping Noon’s ethereal vocals at the forefront, resulting in an addictive and engaging cut."
The track begins with haunting swells of Noon’s instantly recognisable voice which beckons us into her world. Then, delicately and tentatively, she asks ‘Body, what do I do to make you my home?’
“Growing up, it was always very important to me to be recognised for my ideas, for my creative work, for what I had to say,” says Noon. “As I grew into a young woman I became uncomfortable with the sense that my physical form was preceding those things, that the way I was perceived and treated seemed to hinge on how I looked, dressed, and carried my body. At times, this body felt like a risky vehicle to be in.
"From an early age we are flooded with input on what is and isn’t ok about our bodies. It’s such an overwhelming intrusion on what is really a private relationship. Writing ‘Body’ was a step toward excavating some of that unwelcome noise from my own mind and extending a quiet peace offering to myself.”
The 'Body' music video was directed by talented and artful film maker Oshara Ardelean, director of multiple viral music videos for Kiki Rockwell. They filmed the clip in an abandoned building at Kingseat Hospital. “We heard through the grapevine about a mysterious location. It is considered the most haunted place in Auckland, and there’s a lot of history, so it was a pretty unforgettable experience shooting the video there,” says Noon. The music video premiered on Back Seat Mafia, and was described as haunting with a performance by Noon that is "mesmerising and enigmatic, with an intensity that burns the retina."
Every artistic choice Noon makes is incredibly intentional, and the video is no different.
“I play with the idea of making the psychological space physical. The camera functions as a reflection of self that I am at first curious about and questioning, then hesitant to trust, and later fearful of and trying to outrun. The building I travel through represents a headspace, a place where I am alone with myself and that doesn’t always feel safe.”
‘Body’ was made with Noon’s long time collaborator Maude Minnie Morris, and also features the talents of Lips frontwoman Steph Brown on keys. Noon reflects “when I brought the song to Maude, we realised we needed to embrace the chaos. We pushed the dynamics to the limit when it became clear that the song wanted to take up a lot of space - and so we let it.”
Drawing influences from artists such as MUNA, Caroline Polachek, Wolf Alice, and Troy Sivan, Noon has received both local and international acclaim, with previous releases ‘I Need to Go Home’ and ‘Talk About Us’ featured in Rolling Stone and Le Future Wave.
Now, ‘Body’ opens a new chapter for Noon and she gently offers it to the world “in all its messy self-contradiction and intensity, in all its cautious intimacy, in all its strength and light.”