Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Desert Island Discs 52 First Day of Spring by Noah and the Whale

52 The First Day of Spring by Noah and the Whale 2009.

I'm a sucker for break up songs and this is one hell of a break up lp (detailing the break down of  Charlie Fink's relationship with the singer Laura Marling) and often cringeworthy in its honesty (one track details a post break up one night stand with a fan), however there is enough light and shade as well as story arch to mean it is much more than a misery fest.

The lp stsarts with a funeral drum and the realisation that it is over but clinging to the

"I'm still here hoping that one day you may come back"

We then move to looking at the breakdown with a mournful piano and violin

Well it's four in the morning,
things are getting heavy,
and we both know that it's over, but we both are not ready
and you're talking like a stranger
so I don't know what to do
and I'm callous and I'm cruel, to everyone but you

The heart of the lp sees Charlie Fink picking over the bones of his failed relationship

Halfway through we get an interlude with 2 instrumentals bookending Love of an Orchestra with its Madness Wings of a Dove type backing. It is if Charlie Fink realised that he needed to break the mood

The jauntiness of Orchestra makes the cofessional stranger even more powerful

 Stranger by Noah and the Whale

The lps moves towards closure with a sense of  moving forward and letting go

Overall a set of songs shot through with pain , confusion and regret but also a sense of hope , proper grown up pop music

You can buy First Day of Spring here


  1. I don't own this album. It seems like one that I might have more of an an emotional connection with compared with Last Night On Earth's short, sweet fluff. Clips are pretty glum but promising; I like somber, so I'll order this one up...

    DAVID KNOPFLER - Wishbones (2001)

    - here's an example of my contrary nature... I've got lazy, little brother Knopfler on my list, not successful, ambitious Mark (who I do also like). 'Ship Of Dreams' may be Dave's best, but 'Wishbones' my first exposure, and "If God Could Make Angels" always moves me with it's beauty and "big questions". Sorry, I can't decide on samples. I like all of 'em...

    If God Could Make Angels: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_UAg1uWZbE
    Genius: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUzOky4VFH8
    Arcadie: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GRQpG9CM3Xs
    St. Swithun's Day (w/Chris Rea): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLWxM9vDmqw
    Nothing At All: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gfs4yvFlTPo
    America: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teX1CZpkku8

  2. I like 'If God...' TT; I believe that you put it on one of your sampler CDs.
    Marcus has played with Mark Knopfler and always keeps me abreast of his solo stuff which is often lovely. However, I watched him at the Avo Sessions last night (from 2007) and it must be one of the dullest concerts ever; the whole bad (particularly Mark) seemed comatose. I get 'laid back' but this was unconscious... I know that MK has real back problems these days so has to perform sitting down but this was borderline horizontal.

    I really like this Noah album David; found Last Night on Earth easy to get into but it kind of passed me by, a bit like THe Killers showing Noah how to play Springsteen...

  3. Hi Tim

    need to give this a listen as I wouldn't have looked twice if wasn't on your list
    that is great summing up of last night.. I really liked it when I got it as it was so immediate , but that strength is also the reason I hardly play it now

  4. I keep hearing great things about NatW , but of all the tracks I've listened to there's still nothing that makes me want to buy an album.
    # 52 Neil Finn - One Nil. This track is up there with his best work


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