Cedric Noel
“nothing forever, everything”

“Isn’t it hard? Isn’t it everything but better?”

When Cedric Noel wrote this lyric last Fall, he was, in his own words, “in the middle of a bizarre and heavy time.” The song that the lyric is from, the title track of his new record nothing forever, everything, is about love, I think. Mostly about how hard it is to find love, to be in love, to let love go. It’s a reminder that love is somehow the best and worst thing ever.

Although nothing forever, everything was released in early March, I listened to it for the first time recently, during this bizarre new world that we are in. So when I heard that line near the end of the record — a fittingly cozy bedroom-folk-pop collection that thrives in small spaces — that line hit differently. Right now there is no end in sight to this global lockdown and everything is scary and overwhelming. To hear Noel acknowledge that things are hard was a relief.

To close the song and album, Noel repeats a combination of these words: nothing, forever, everything. It’s like a jigsaw puzzle that has various resulting pictures. When he repeats these words, I choose to fill in the blanks this way: “nothing [is] forever. Everything [isn’t] nothing.” I choose to find a little bit of comfort in the chaos.

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