Noah and the Whale - The First Days of Spring
(Young & Lost)
A sublime paean to the restorative powers of nature, space and time, The First Days of Spring elevates London’s Noah and the Whale from punctuation-denigrating indie-poppers – see 2008’s mini-hit, ‘5 Years Time’ (sic) – to philharmonic alt.rockers with a winning line in lyrical solace.
Emmy the Great and Laura Marling may be notable ex-members, but Noah helmsman Charlie Fink can gloriously hold his own. These baritone odes to heartbreak and hope are in outstanding company: ‘Blue Skies’ aurally echoes, and emotionally rescues, Yo La Tengo’s ‘Last Days of Disco’, while the title track conjures Smog’s exquisite ‘Rock Bottom Riser’. This is a lovely album.