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IU Musician to release new album next month


Junior Noah Kankanala sits and plays the guitar. Kankanala's new album will be released in mid-October. Courtesy Photo Illustration

Musician Noah Kankanala, a junior in game design, said songwriting is his way of communicating with others. As a singer and songwriter, indie folk songs are his method of speaking his emotions.

Kankanala's new album is set to be released mid-October and he said it's full of Americana. His inspirations include “Heartbreaker” by Ryan Adams and “The Nashville Sound” by Jason Isbell. 

“It’s the type of music where you have the instrumentation and the passion of rock ‘n’ roll and indie rock, and then you have the candid storytelling of folk,” Kankanala said. 

His latest single, “Fleet,” expresses that indie folk vibe. Released Aug. 31, the new single is available on Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play and more. Kankanala said for this album, he wanted to step away from SoundCloud and move toward more legitimate music platforms.

Kankanala will be releasing a new single with a softer tone, "Quiet Thoughts," tentatively Friday. He said compared to “Fleet,” this song is more acoustic, with a peaceful feel to it. Jared O’Brien, a junior in audio engineering who works with Kankanala as an audio engineer and producer, helped add depth to the single.

“For some reason, I really latched onto this song, and I had a big vision for it,” O’Brien said. “It’s very low-fi and it feels raw, but it’s not just acoustic and vocals. It’s weird because it’s very over-produced, but I wanted it to still feel intimate.”

For the other instruments featured in the new album, such as cello and drums, Jacobs School of Music students provided their skills. O’Brien said he just let the students listen to the unfinished product and compose their own pieces of music to go along with it. 

“For every one of the songs that we recorded for this album, I had demos that Noah had recorded himself, which really gave me a foundation to build upon,” O’Brien said. “I knew what sounds he was going for and what was in his head. I interpreted that into what I could see being a more cohesive, full album.” 

 Kankanala said the new album is full of his candid experiences growing up and becoming an adult. 

“I wrote a lot of these songs in the past year, year and a half,” Kankanala said. “I wrote some of them during a breakup, so there’s a lot of themes of heartbreak, love, nostalgia and holding onto things. I try to be as honest and candid with the songs as possible.”

Kankanala’s new album featuring “Fleet” and “Quiet Thoughts” will drop in mid-October and will be available on streaming sites such as Spotify and Apple Music. He hasn’t come up with a title for it, though, because he said he wants it to come to him spontaneously. 

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