SONGS FOR THE BROKEN-HEARTED: Sometimes it’s just easier to listen and enjoy. Enough micro-analyzing and deconstructing. Noah and the Whale have been criticized by some reviewers for writing melodramatic and depressing cliches — sometimes dubbed “mope rock”. Well, maybe so. They do open their sophomore album “The First Days of Spring” with the album-title track, featuring a line about a tree hoping to “grow back” and a “seed of hope”. (But that same song ends with a violin playing a slow-building Japanese sound, which explodes into a gorgeous symphonic blow-up.) Cliches exist for a reason. They exist because there’s some universal familiarity in feelings of love, isolation, hurt, and joy. Just remember, when you’re feeling low that blue skies are coming. Noah and the Whale have also been criticized for being a bit art-house trendy and cutesy. (Okay, so you might feel a little Juno-esque queasiness knowing the group’s name was created because of the band’s love of the film The Squid and the Whale and its director Noah Baumbach.) But really, I dare you not to be swept up in the folksy wash of melodies in the song “Blue Skies”. Lead singer Charlie Fink told the UK Guardian, ”The first time I listened to our new album in full I just broke down. I was in tears from the third track until the end. I’ve never had an experience like that before.” At risk of sounding cliche — obviously Fink put his heart and soul into this album after breaking up with singer and one-time Whales member Laura Marling. And maybe it will provide him with a light at the end of the tunnel. The band is Fink (vocals, guitar), Tom Hobden (fiddle), Urby Whale (bass), Fred Abbott (guitar/keys), and Jack Hamson).
“This is a song for anyone, with a broken heart.
This is a song for anyone, who can’t get out of bed.
I’ll do anything, to be happy.
Oh, ‘cuz blue skies are coming.
But I know that it’s hard.
This is the last song that I write,
While still in love with you.
This is the last song that I write
While you’re even on my mind.
‘Cuz it’s time to leave those feelings behind.”
Noah and the Whale “Blue Skies”