There’s something magical about a room of people all singing along to a song about being plagued by anxiety. But that’s what Runnner does – he brings people together by singing softly about the things we’re all a little too nervous to admit. On December 10th, Runnner, the project of Noah Weinman, began his east coast tour at DC9 to celebrate the release of his newest album, Always Repeating.
The show openers were Carmen Canedo and Daneshevskaya, who set the mood for an emotional night. Daneshevskaya’s vocals were mesmerizing, with soft lyrics that felt like poetry, or maybe the saddest ever lullaby. Her voice, with the beautiful piano in the background, encapsulated heartbreak perfectly in the lyrics, “Be nice to me/ Ok, be mean / As long as there’s something to talk about”. It was the perfect score for the emotional aftermath for a coming-of-age heroine.
Runnner started his set with “Monochrome”, a song that investigates intimacy and yearns for that missing thing. He was charming to watch, singing heartbreaking lyrics with a soft smile and powerful vocals. The cathartic moments felt that much more, with a slight yell in, “I wish I was drunk enough to call you”. It’s a mourning of the little moments, the small things that get ruined so quickly by self-consciousness and loathing, and how they add up. Between songs, he made little quips, showing off a goofy smile and sheepishly asking people to sing along to help bring back all the little lyrics.
The most striking part of the show was how nonchalantly he was vulnerable. Coming out – or maybe back into – a lockdown, it’s clear that his dabbles in solitude were times of introspection, exploring even the ugly parts. The unreleased music he played cemented his mastery of making self-loathing something unashamedly relatable. The shared intimacy during “Ur Name of a Grain of Rice” made the audience feel like a group therapy session, with the painful confession of, “Maybe I loved you/ Or maybe I wanted to/ See something through/ Just cuz I never do”. Being in the crowd made me feel like a friend, having a deep conversation just outside the party. It’s a little sad, but that’s what makes you feel better.
Listen to Runnner’s music here.
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