LA-based songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Runnner (whose real name is Noah Weinman) has released a record that features intimate moments, witty, candid lyrics and a vocal charm that fits the style for his first full-length under the very established Run For Cover Records.
Humans are sentimental by design. They look on the past fondly, wishing they knew that the “good times” in life were going to be substantial. Now they exist as memories. Runnner’s Always Repeating reflects on that ideology by exploring some of his original work in a common re-imagined tone.
The first five songs on the LP are re-recorded versions of Weinman’s previously released singles. The biggest standout of these is “Urgent Care,” which was originally released in 2017. This re-work features “modern” tones laying underneath but develops a twang through Weinman’s banjo playing ability that keeps it feeling refreshed. Runnner’s appreciation for production is way ahead of where it was four years ago when this tune first went up on services like SoundCloud.
Listen to Always Repeating by Runnner on Spotify below:
“Awash,” the lead single for this release, has a great mix that makes this record feel cozy and dream-like. Weinman’s guitar offers your head a nice place to rest and relax. Higher pitched tones wallow in the background and match well with those sounds. “Better now, but there is no going back” he sings as the track whists off.
The second half of this release comes straight from Runnner’s 2020 EP One of One. It transcends in the same order on this LP release, a solid compilation of Runnner’s best work that is now available for a wider audience.
The first track of this latter half is the popular “Heliotrope,” which feels like a good teenage love song. The delivery makes us think of bands like The Front Bottoms for the way Weinman carries his vocal range. “Is this the conversation you want to have?” he cries. The way the lyrics on this track embody a feeling of “*gulp* I am not ready to do this,” but he gets through on his own terms. The lyrics here remain more focused than perhaps any of his other tracks, making this one stick out among the others.
“Captain Stupido” offers the best instrumental presentation that Runnner has offered. Weinman recorded much of this record all by himself, including the glaring trumpets that stick out as a high mark on this song. They glide through the listener’s ears. It helps to balance the lyricism that seems out of touch with the kind of music that backs the track.
Photo Credit: Edward Diven
Weinman is a phenomenal instrumentalist, we’ve established that. While the lyricism leaves something to be desired on the work here, “Ur Name on a Grain of Rice,” is a great song for all of its elements. Starting with slow drums and guitar, this track begins with a crescendo that leads into the vocals. The delivery of his lyrics comes with quick short words that tell a story, and some words that are carried out to show the emotion truly being felt here. When the sound of horns meets his banjo, it feels like a separate story on its own.
“Maybe I loved you, or maybe I wanted to see something through, just cuz I never do,” slowly gets us past the end of that first instrumental section. Then the band of mostly Weinman follows along and brings this track to its empowering conclusion.
There are bright spots here, some things to work on too. But Runnner leaves listeners wanting to know how much he is capable of. Artists grow, and we have a feeling there is a lot left in the tank after hearing Always Repeating. Being on a label like Run For Cover means that Runnner is going places. As long as the next presentation from Weinman is not just past releases re-imagined, we want him to show us what other things there are to see.
Always Repeating by Runnner: 6.5/10
Subscribe to Updates to Beyond The Stage Magazine for the latest updates and more news about your favorite musicians like Runnner.