Maybe it’s because I’ve stopped watching MTV2, or the fact that I’m no longer forced to wake up and watch E4 music out of complete lack of choice, but either way, the fact that Noah and the Whale released a new album at the start of this week almost completely passed me by. Their debut, Peaceful, the world lays me down, is one of those albums that reminds you of a distinctive time and place. Just as Tokyo Police Club’s A lesson in crime will always bing thoughts of my friend’s student accomidation circa spring 2007, the sounds of Shape of my heart and 5 years time will always make me think of summer 2008.
The problem with that release was that rather being a complete album, it felt more like a collection of songs – very enjoyable songs certainly, but anyone who was interested in the album was likely to have already heard all of it’s best content in mp3 format from various blogs. In an apparent bid to counteract this, the band have made their second LP a concept album, and in doing so have made one of the most depressing records you are likely to hear.
I’m not even sure if it’s a new direction for the band, but First Days of Sping‘s themes are almost exclusively about lonliness and sorrow. The ‘concept’ of the album is that it is chronicalling the entire process of the breakup of a relationship. Noah have always had slightly saddening lyrics if you listened to the closely (or paid too much attention to them, like me), but this time they’ve taken it to new levels. From being in love with someone who doesn’t want to be with you to having a one-night stand to get over them and everything inbetween, it ranges from harrowing to simply cringey. You’ve got to admire the unflinching honesty with which the band deal with the subject matter.
From what I can tell, there’s no Laura Marling on this record either, which presumably means there’s no chance of seeing her when the band tour the album later this month:
London ICA (September 3,4)
Gateshead The Sage (27)
Leeds The Cockpit (28)
Manchester Club Academy (29)
Oxford O2 Academy (October 1)
London KOKO (2)
Norwich Waterfron (4)
Cambridge Junction (5)
Brighton Concorde (7)
Derby Rockhouse (8)
Exeter Phoenix (10)
Bath Komedia (11)
Falmouth Princess Pavilion (12)
Sheffield Leadmill (14)
Glasgow Oran Mor Auditorium (15)
And here’s the most depressing song you’ll hear about a one night stand today: