Tours: John Nolan’s Birthday Spectacular

John Nolan John Nolan, or Taking Back Sunday and Straylight Run fame has announced that he will be touring during the week of his birthday.  The nine date tour will feature Nolan performing songs from his two solo albums and Straylight Run discography.  Nolan comments:

“A few months ago, I had the idea to do a solo tour around the week of my birthday. Then I thought, since I’m touring around my birthday why not make every show like a birthday party… So, every night the stage will be decorated with streamers and balloons, everyone will get little party favors and I’ll play songs from my solo albums and Straylight Run’s albums and we’ll all sing and celebrate together!”

Full tour listings are below.

Read More…

‘Music for Everyone’, a compilation to support the ACLU feat. Taking Back Sunday, Anti-Flag Coming Spring ’17

Music for Everyone, a compilation project to support the ACLU which has been spearheaded by Taking Back Sunday guitarist John Nolan is due for release this spring in conjunction with Collective Confusion Records and Sub City (the charity arm of Hopeless Records). He has said this about his inspiration behind the project:

“During these next four years, I feel it’s going to be extremely important to support organizations that will stand up to the Trump administration”

Mike Colleran of Collective Confusion Records and Louis Posen, president of Hopeless Records have added:

“John [Nolan] and I had spent some time on the road together last summer during the primaries, and we were glued to the news the entire trip. I personally was shocked and saddened about some of the rhetoric that was slowly becoming more mainstream. There has been a toxic atmosphere to the political climate for years, which only seems to be getting worse. After the election, John approached me about putting together this compilation and I realized it was up to everyone, as average citizens, to do what they can to make their voices heard and to stand up and make it known that these ideas don’t represent us. I jumped on board with the project immediately, and I hope it will do some small part in making our country a better place for everyone.”

“Helping musicians connect with fans to raise funds for important organizations, like the ACLU, is at the heart of everything we do at Sub City, so we are thrilled that our friend John Nolan asked us to be a part of bringing this incredible compilation to life”

The LP will contain rare or unreleased material from the likes of Taking Back Sunday, Anti-Flag, Answering Machine, Baggage, Chris Farren, Potty Mouth, Brendan Kelley, Anthony Green, Frank Iero, Dave Hause, Sleep On It, Jared Hart, Cassino, Dead Heavens featuring Walter Schreifels, Allison Weiss and Brett Newski with more to be announced.

Pre-orders are available here: 

To read more about the ACLU’s commitment to human rights following the election, check out their recent statement.

Video: John Nolan – American Nightclub 1999

John NolanJohn Nolan (Taking Back SundayStraylight Run) has premiered a brand new music video.  The video features the song “American Nightclub 1999” from his new full length, Sad, Strange, Beautiful Dream.

Check out the new video below.  

Read More…

John Nolan

John Nolan

Sad, Strange, Beautiful Dream

Collective Confusion Records

Rating: 4/5




John Nolan may be best known for his time in seminal emo-rock act Taking Back Sunday, but to many, his most defining work came out of his humble, now defunct indie offshoot, Straylight Run. While Taking Back Sunday was big and unapologetically bold, Straylight Run was tactful and inventive. Straylight Run’s current hiatus was a loss for those looking for something on the approachably artful side of the spectrum (The Needles The Space was a stroke of brilliance). Thankfully, those shedding tears were short lived with his decision to further pursue a solo career that preserved the spiritual essence of his Straylight Run persona.

It’s been six years since John Nolan’s solo debut, and while the output has been steady in the form of a few EPs and smaller projects, his sophomore full length, Sad, Strange Beautiful Dream feels like a long time coming. Nolan harnesses his knack for spinning a catchy tune and applies it to a lush, confident acoustic soundscape. Even without the razor riffs typical of Taking Back Sunday’s biggest hooks, Nolan’s veteran songwriting knowhow make for big, catchy tunes that embrace their subtle elements. “American Nightclub 1999” sets the tone with a tuneful acoustic intro with Nolan singing in his breezy Straylight Run style as he describes the picture of feeling all alone in a room full of people. “Lights are flashing there’s a fat guy dancing in the middle of the floor, he’s all alone but he’s having more fun than me,” describes Nolan as he paints a picture of being outsider amongst social outcasts. A casual backdrop of violin strokes and crisp acoustic strums culminates in the album’s first stick in your head chorus.

From here Nolan develops a healthy trend of balancing alluring instrumentation with lively scope of character.  For instance, a track like “Street Robbery Blues” rattles along with a big bluesy swagger in its step as its approaches a swanky choral high.  By comparison, “Drinking Your Way To Confid” features a swelling emotional chorus followed by the subdued piano verse touting Nolan at his most vocally energetic.  The contrast makes for a climax that lands with all of its intended force.  What should catch listeners off guard is how heartfelt Nolan’s lesser tempos resonate.  Take the slow moving violin supported piano ballad “I’ll Be Home Soon.”   Even in such minimal moments Nolan can strike up a catchy chorus that moves beyond superficiality and begs an emotional connection.   Perhaps most strikingly, “I Will Be Released” finds Nolan armed with a mere acoustic guitar and gradually integrated percussive elements. After sitting at a low level for most of the track’s opening, the chorus and post-bridge hand-clap aided harmonies embody the heart on his sleeve Nolan that you’ve come to expect.

Other stand outs aren’t what you’d typically expect from Nolan’s camp but succeed every bit as well.  “How Much” embraces a downtrodden intro heightened by a “dusty rhodes” country style accented harmonica and slow burning anthemic chorus presented in a contrasting dichotomy.  Also of note, “It’s The End Of The World” offers up a an off kilter vibe, washing Nolan’s typical acoustic lure with a certain darkness as he describes a variety of doomsday scenarios as described by unsuccessful cult-like followings over past decades.

John Nolan may have joined up with the Taking Back Sunday crew once again, but his creative independence remains one of a kind in his solo work.  Sad, Strange, Beautiful Dream hits the mark when it comes to striking a balance between acoustic ingenuity and landing strikingly bold choruses.  Easily one of Nolan’s most worthwhile endeavors.

Video: John Nolan – Drinking Your Way To Confidence

John NolanJohn Nolan (Taking Back SundayStraylight Run) has premiered a brand new music video.  The video features the song “Drinking Your Way To Confidence” from his new full length, Sad, Strange, Beautiful Dream, which dropped earlier this summer.

Check out the new video below.  Watch out for review of the album in the coming weeks.

Read More…


Tours: John Nolan

John NolanSinger-songwriter John Nolan, best known for his work in Straylight Run and Taking Back Sunday, released his second solo album, Sad Strange Beautiful Dream, earlier this week. The ten track album was recorded live in Long Island, New York with producer Mike Sapone (Taking Back Sunday, Brand New, Straylight Run) at the helm.

He funded the album through a PledgeMusic campaign, while partnering with NY indie label Collective Confusion to market and distribute the vinyl version of the release. A portion of the proceeds will go to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

In support of the album, Nolan is doing a string of east and west coast dates later this summer starting in Philadelphia on August 19th and ending in Vancouver on September 3rd. The dates are below.

Nolan released his first solo LP, Height, in 2009 follow by two live records – Live at Southpaw (2009) and Live at Looney Tunes (2010) – and two sttudio EPs Songs I Wrote and Songs I Didn’t Write (2010).

Read More…


John Nolan: So Slow So Predictable Stream & Download

John NolanA new track by John Nolan (Straylight Run and Taking Back Sunday) entitled, ‘So Slow So Predictable’, can be download or streamed for free here.


John Nolan Covers Talking Head’s Road To Nowhere

John NolanJohn Nolan (or Taking Back Sunday and Straylight Run) recently recorded a cover of The Talking Heads‘s single Road To Nowhere.

The song can be downloaded or streamed for free here.

The original version appeared on The Talking Heads‘ 1985 album, Little Creatures.