Thursday, September 18th, 2008
2 Atoms In A Molecule
Photo via Noah & The Whale
Another day, another English “anti-” folk act coming to town soon. Today is dedicated to London quartet Noah & The Whale, who are on tour across North America and will be at the Horseshoe on Tuesday night for a free show (on at 10:50PM).
Calling them folk, no matter what the prefix attached, is actually a bit misleading. Though the tools of their trade – acoustic guitars, fiddles, ukuleles, etc – certainly fit the bill, if you could go with only one word in description of their debut album, it would have to be “pop”. Their debut album Peaceful, The World Lays Me Down is a sunshine-y gem, whose buoyant hooks and melodies – to say nothing of Laura Marling’s angelic backing vocals – are the perfect contrast to Charlie Fink’s charmingly sad-sack lyrics, delivered in a matching deadpan voice but with a healthy dollop of humour.
Though their name is a nod to screenwriter/director Noah Baumbach and his film The Squid & The Whale, their aesthetic is much more in line with his frequent collaborator Wes Anderson, with a penchant for bright colours, costumes and whimsical videos. Some might find it all a bit too precious, but even when stripped of all the theatricality it’s hard to argue that songs like “Rocks And Daggers”, “2 Atoms In A Molecule” and the Saturn-soundtracking “5 Years Time” are insidiously catchy bits of songcraft. They may not quite offer the raw emotional depth or heft of some of their peers, but if you’re looking for someone to soundtrack a party or a college film project, look no further.
Fink talks to The Columbia Spectator about the logic behind playing three disparate venues in New York City and to the The Daily Free Press about the band’s origins. Music Snobbery also has an interview. Both Fink and Marling took part in a Black Cab Session a little while back and they also shot a Takeaway Show back in May.
MP3: Noah & The Whale – “2 Bodies 1 Heart”
Video: Noah & The Whale – “Five Years Time”
Video: Noah & The Whale – “2 Bodies 1 Heart”
Video: Noah & The Whale – “Shape Of My Heart”
MySpace: Noah & The Whale
A band who knows a thing or two about being twee – Belle & Sebastian – still don’t seem to have much to report on the new album front but This Is Fake DIY reports that there’ll be a new collection of BBC session material coming out on November 17 and will include unreleased songs, early versions and the entire, oft-bootlegged 2001 Christmas show. Sounds like a double-set to me!
Sloan and Will Currie & The Country French have collaborated on digital 7″ single (is that not a contradiction in terms?) that they’re offering for free download. Details and virtual art/liner notes available here. Patrick Pentland talks to JAM and according to Pollstar, they’ve got some upcoming dates as support for none other than… Lenny Kravitz. Yeah, that won’t be weird at all. The Toronto date is October 22 at the Air Canada Centre.
If you’ve been wondering just who these Everest guys who’ve been tapped to open up for Neil Young and Wilco at the Air Canada Centre on December 4 and 5 – and all of Neil’s dates – are, Filter makes the introduction.