Thursday, August 11, 2011

Sounds: Noah and the Whale

I was taught not to use curse words growing up. Mind you, I still curse and have moments of exclamation, I just pull other, civilized, vocabulary words out when vocal displays of awe, excited, frustration or great dismay are called for. Usually these are the first 2 words that come into my head, “phosphorous and bromine!,”  or a popular one when people cut me off in traffic, “ You Dumb Bunny.”

For a while a favorite phase of surprise or excitement, always in a positive way, was “Oh Charlie Fink!” Charlie Fink is the singer of the British band Noah and Whale, and just has one of those names that you always have to say both the first name and last name. Always.

Noah and the Whale is a lovely little band, but I often have to be in the right mood to listen to them. You see their first two albums have very different feelings to them. Their first album, Peaceful the World Lays Me Down, Charlie Fink and Laura Marling were dating so there are sweet little songs. Then they broke up, Laura left the band, and Charlie Fink really needed a hug. Their second album, First Days of Spring, is all about heartbreak. People often refer to this album as the famous break-up album, I bet the band just loves that. Sometimes it is too heavy on the soul to hear, but other times it is just what I need. They released a new album earlier this year, Last Night on Earth, and I guess a hug was given because it is more upbeat. I like how all three albums sound very different. Life is always shifting, transforming, moving, so it make beautiful sense that our personal sound change too.

Returning from my little holiday, I was catching up on my NPR music and was so happy to see then on the Tiny Desk!  When were they in town? Why didn't I know? How can I get a job at NPR? They played 3 songs, the video is eleven and a half minutes long. I know that you can’t possible sit still that long so I will break it down for  you, in case you need to skip around:

First, though, I have to say,  I kind of love how Charlie Fink seems to not be able to look directly at the camera.

0:00-3:50: L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N: From their new album. I have to admit the first time I heard a snippet of this song, I thought it was Tom Petty, then I heard the violin and exclaimed “ Oh Charlie Fink!” Favorite line: You've got heart, and you're going your own way.  

3:51-8:10:  Blue Skies: my absolute favorite Noah and the Whale song,  word to the wise—it's from their second album, see above for what that means. Favorite line: Blue skies are coming, but I know its hard.

8:11-11:23:   Waiting for My Chance to Come: I fell in love with this song the first time I heard the line: It takes real guts to be alone, going head to head with the great unknown. 

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