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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at MSU chapter.

Folk pop artist Noah Kahan has risen to stardom with his hit album Stick Season, and for good reason. This album is a masterclass in lyricism that perfectly encapsulates small town yearning over catchy folk beats. Even though Kahan is from Vermont, I draw a particular connection between his music and the Midwest. I have noticed many Midwesterners falling in love with Kahan’s music, and I find his songs particularly relatable as a Michigander, born and raised. 

“The weather ain’t been bad / If you’re into masochistic bullsh*t” 

(“Homesick” by Noah Kahan)

Kahan’s song “Homesick,” among others on the album, is a wintry small town anthem. In Michigan, the winters can be brutal and unforgiving, but the summers are beautiful and warm. You’re entranced, but you want to leave at the same time. Kahan plays with this concept in the use of the word “homesick,” which can mean a longing for a home that you have left, or a distaste for a home in which you still remain. This song is perfect for Midwesterners who grew up with dreams of moving out to a big city, but find themselves as a 20-something still living in the house they grew up in. 

“Forgive my northern attitude / Oh, I was raised out in the cold” 

(“Northern Attitude” by Noah Kahan)

Kahan writes as if he were deep in a Michigan winter, when you can feel the cold seeping into your bones. I listen to his songs, and I see the sun setting at 5pm. I see snow banks up to my shoulders and slippery roads. I see the first glimpse of a sunny day after long months in the cold. I can’t help but feel the Midwestern experience in Kahan’s songs, especially those like “Northern Attitude.” Growing up in a tourist town on the coast of Lake Michigan, where we hibernate the winters away and lounge on the beach all summer, Kahan’s lyrics are eerily relatable. 

“So, pack up your car, put a hand on your heart / Say whatever you feel, be wherever you are”

(“You’re Gonna Go Far” by Noah Kahan)  

Most Midwesterners know that gut-twisting feeling when you finally leave that farm or small town you know like the back of your hand and venture off into the bigger world – that excitement for something new mixed with guilt for leaving your old life behind. “You’re Gonna Go Far” is about this time in life, but from the perspective of someone who was left behind. Nostalgic and melancholy, this song, like others on the “Stick Season” album, simultaneously transports me back to my childhood and makes me think of the person I am now – and how those two things coincide. 

Kahan’s music reminds me of the Midwest and my own experiences growing up in Michigan, so much that I find it hard to believe he was raised in New England. From his deep hitting lyrics to his timeless folk sound, Kahan has captured the hearts of many Midwesterners with his album “Stick Season,” and he’s personally ensnared me as a fan for life.

Kendra Gilchrist is Senior Editor for Her Campus at MSU. She assists with and edits other members' articles, helps run the editing team, as well as writing her own articles. Gilchrist is a sophomore at Michigan State University studying journalism with a concentration in writing, reporting, and editing. Gilchrist was the Journalism and Copy Editor for her high school yearbook during her senior year and recently interned at her local newspaper. In her free time, Gilchrist likes to read, obsess over tv and movies, go to concerts, and drink way too much coffee.