NOAHFINNCE on his therapy-influenced new EP: “Therapy didn’t ‘fix’ me, and that’s okay”

A bright new voice in pop-punk, NOAHFINNCE has delivered a charismatic and thoughtful new EP, MY BRAIN AFTER THERAPY. But, as he tells Kerrang!, therapy offered no quick fix to his trauma, instead allowing himself to fully explore his feelings and in turn create a vibrant new record…

NOAHFINNCE on his therapy-influenced new EP: “Therapy didn’t ‘fix’ me, and that’s okay”
Jake Richardson
Frances Beach

Our brains can go to strange places after therapy, particularly if we’re new to opening up in that way. Having just spilled our guts out to a relative stranger, all manner of thoughts and feelings can fill our minds as we attempt to make sense of those intense conversations. It’s something Noah Adams – better known by his stage name NOAHFINNCE – grappled with after undergoing therapy for the first time. Choosing to use his therapy sessions as the inspiration for songs helped him come to terms with what he was experiencing, with his approach eventually culminating in fittingly-titled new EP MY BRAIN AFTER THERAPY.

A collection of six spiky yet vulnerable pop-punk tracks, it’s Noah’s strongest work yet, and a record clearly shaped by his experience of opening up to a therapist for the first time.

“Therapy was very overwhelming,” Noah begins. “I didn’t really know what to expect, but I knew I needed to go in and talk about the stuff I experienced as a kid. It helped me order my thoughts, which was great because it was clear to me that my brain was all over the place. That in turn helped me with writing music, because I then had the words to properly explain how I was feeling. After every session, I’d make some notes about the things I’d realised in therapy that day, which was really beneficial as it helped me explore feelings that previously I wasn’t able to. It was massively beneficial for my music – after all, how do you write a song about how you’re feeling if you don’t truly know how you feel?”

That newfound confidence in his ability to understand himself and his experiences translated into Noah’s songwriting. Acknowledging that, prior to undergoing therapy, he wouldn’t have had as much belief in his ability to tackle the subject of mental health with the level of tact present throughout MY BRAIN AFTER THERAPY, the musician was imbued with the belief that he could push the envelope more than he had on previous EP STUFF FROM MY BRAIN, and provide a more complex and fully realised account of his experiences.

Said approach is evident in several of MY BRAIN AFTER THERAPY’s tracks. Opener WORMS (In My Brain) speaks to the feeling of being overcome by negative thoughts, while standout song AFTER THERAPY – which features fellow pop-punkers Hot Mulligan – is a slightly cynical but ultimately affirming declaration of the power of therapy when it comes to understanding your feelings, even if it doesn’t have all the answers.

“A lot of my sessions would see me saying to my therapist, ‘Okay, so I know how I’m feeling now, but what the fuck can I do about it?’” Noah says of AFTER THERAPY. “Eventually, I came to understand that it just takes time to heal from some of this stuff – you can’t just go into therapy expecting kill your inner child and be done with it. Once I understood that reality, I actually found comfort in it. Ultimately, I can absolutely say that therapy helped me and it was great, but it didn’t ‘fix’ me and that’s okay.”

Comfortable in the knowledge that he’s now equipped with the tools to understand his feelings – as well as the acceptance that not even the best therapy sessions can ‘cure’ the traumas of the past – Noah is focussed on building out the world of NOAHFINNCE. The sizeable online following he’s garnered thanks to his popular YouTube channel, which has over 800,000 subscribers, means he has a direct line to those who believe in his message of honesty and inclusivity.

As well as YouTube videos which speak to a diverse audience, and cover important topics including the trans community, sexuality and pronouns, the music videos Noah makes for his songs add more than a little levity to proceedings, bringing out his silly side and offering a nice counterbalance to the weight of the subject matter present on MY BRAIN AFTER THERAPY. The video for WORMS (In My Brain), for instance, finds Noah being chased by and wrestling with human-sized worms in what’s a bizarre yet thoroughly entertaining visual account of mental unrest.

“I just thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool to have this song about childhood trauma represented by a video that is basically one big joke about me being chased by worms?’” he laughs. “All my closest friends help me with the videos, and the aim is always to make them as fun as possible. We’re starting to build our own universe with this stuff now, and we have recurring characters who pop up in the videos and on tour, and it’s all feeding into this ongoing narrative – it’s almost becoming its own TV series. Essentially, it all comes down to having fun, while ensuring that the more serious sides of the songs are still represented where appropriate.”

Thanks to that blend of humour and heart to which he speaks, Noah is swiftly establishing himself as a bright new force in alternative music, and one whose outlook echoes someone like YUNGBLUD in terms of being an inclusive and charismatic voice for the downtrodden and the misunderstood. Speaking to Kerrang! while on tour in the U.S., he returns to the UK later this year for a headline run which includes two shows at London’s O2 Academy Islington, with extra dates added and several venues upgraded thanks to the demand to see NOAHFINNCE bring MY BRAIN AFTER THERAPY to life.

Naturally, Noah is excited for a tour at which he says everyone present can expect to “enjoy themselves and have fun, but more than anything just feel comfortable,” but the most pressing matter in his mind as our conversation draws to a close is MY BRAIN AFTER THERAPY’s legacy. Pondering its message, Noah ends our chat by affirming that there’s always benefit in sharing your feelings.

“I hope that, through listening to MY BRAIN AFTER THERAPY, people take away the message that speaking about and exploring how you feel is a good thing,” he concludes. “I’ve done a fuck-load of introspection in recent years, and while, like I’ve said, therapy didn’t totally fix me, it’s been an undeniable help. If you’re able to, you should always find someone to talk to, whether you’re feeling good or bad – there’s always catharsis to be found in talking things through.”

MY BRAIN AFTER THERAPY is out now via Hopeless. He tours the UK in September.

If you need help with your mental health, we recommend these organisations:

  • CALM: thecalmzone.net or call 0800 58 58 58
  • The Samaritans UK: samaritans.org or call 116 123
  • Or, in the U.S., the Samaritans helpline: (877) 870 4673 (HOPE)

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