Noah and the Whale (2006-)
Charlie Fink (vocals, guitar)
Fred Abbott (guitar)
Matt Owens (bass)
Michael Petulla (drums)
Tom Hobden (fiddle, keyboards)
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Noah and the Whale's name is a mash-up of the critically acclaimed film The Squid and the Whale
, starring Jeff Daniels and Laura Linney, and its director Noah Baumbach. The group is known to admire Baumbach's work along with The Squid and the Whale
producer Wes Anderson. The band heavily mimics Anderson's film style in the video for their first single "5 Years Time
Noah and the Whale formed in 2006 in the London suburb of Twickenham. Part of a tightly knit group of musicians in the London area, including acts like Mumford & Sons, Laura Marling and Emmy the Great, Noah and the Whale soon began building a rabid local fan base. Before long the British press dubs the movement "nu-folk" much to the chagrin of many of the musicians involved. Slightly more indie and a bit less folky than some of their "nu-folk" contemporaries, the band has drawn comparisons to acts like Neutral Milk Hotel and Belle & Sebastian.
On August 11, 2008 Noah and the Whale released their debut album, Peaceful, the World Lays Me Down. The first single "5 Years Time" was originally released in 2007 but received little attention. Upon its re-release in 2008 it jumped onto the charts, eventually becoming the band's first Top-10 hit in the UK, peaking at #7. The song was later featured in a TV commercial for the popular snack food Sun Chips.
Noah and the Whale's sophomore effort, The First Days of Spring
, revolves around lead singer Charlie Fink's break-up with prominent British indie-folk artist Laura Marling
. The lyrical themes are not unlike those on 2008's Peaceful, the World Lays Me Down
- subjects of love, loss and mortality are hit on repeatedly - but the mood is considerably darker and conceptually the album is an increasingly grand affair. The album is released on August 31, 2009 with an accompanying feature-length film written and directed by Fink. He said of the album/film accompaniment in 2009: "We were trying to create a full, submersing album experience that you experience from beginning to end, and where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts."
The title of Noah and the Whale's third full-length Last Night on Earth
is derived from a series of poems by Charles Bukowski entitled The Last Night of the Earth Poems
. Lead singer Charlie Fink says the poems were extremely influential on the album's lyrics. After the dark, brooding sound of The First Days of Spring, Last Night on Earth sounds refreshing lively and optimistic, starting with the uplifting first single "L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N.
" Fink also acknowledges the influence of Bruce Springsteen, whose music exudes a youthful excitement that Fink tried to capture on this record. The album was released in March of 2011 and peaked at #8 on the UK Albums Chart.
After a gig at Club Academy in Manchester, England, Noah and the Whale parked their van and trailer outside their hotel. The next morning they wandered outside to find their trailer missing. Tens of thousands of pounds worth of gear, some of it vintage and virtually irreplaceable, was gone. Nearly three months later, in December of 2009 the missing gear was miraculously discovered in a barn in Lincolnshire, nearly 100 miles away. The farmer who owned the barn became suspicious when the thieves failed to return for the gear, and searched out the band online after reading their name stenciled on the gear cases. Two men were soon arrested for the crime.
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