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TRACK REVIEW: Noa Bonen's “Intentional” is Music for an Introspective Car Ride by Harry Myles

After being forced out of Post-Coverband Corn Puffians, Noa Bonen is back with her solo debut, "Intentional."

With minimalist production from up-and-coming Toronto Producer Pyari, Noa Bonen's “Intentional” is a short but sweet tune in the vein of Snail Mail, Fazerdaze, and Julien Baker. Stripped back and bare, Bonen does not muddle her sound with unnecessary effects or other instruments, simply using the delicacy of her own voice and a guitar.

About halfway through the rhythmic acoustic loops, a mysterious ticking joins the guitar. At first, it sounds like a metronome, but upon further scrutiny, it is actually the rhythmic clicking of a car’s turning signal. The turning signal continues throughout the rest of the song, indicating a change in direction that never arrives. In the first and last verses, Bonen sings “Suspended back for one moment longer”. Generating a sense of stasis, this concluding line backed by the turning signal seems to reinforce this sense of restrained forward motion. By the end of the track, the vocals and guitar fade away and only the signal remains as the protagonist of the song prefers instead to stay in their current state for just a second longer before embarking on that next turn.

Clocking in at 2:40, “Intentional” is a mysterious track with much to unpack despite its spare production. The handful of verses contain a collection of ambiguous lyrics that, speaking honestly, I have yet to fully comprehend. But this adds to the charm of the single, as it compels me to listen just “one-moment longer” and try to understand these delicate phrases. The simpleness of “Intentional” and the fragility of Bonen’s vocals create an intimate connection that invites repeat listening. With this kind of debut, I can’t wait to see what Bonen has in store.

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