Interview Noah And The Whale: ‘The Album Is Very Much A Man’

Noah and the Whale are a busy bunch these days. Not content on making us bop around to sugarcoated, sun-filled indie pop, they’re also hell bent on entertaining everyone with their new film, and giving us everyday insight into their lives through their blog. Harriet Jennings managed to grab frontman Charlie Fink for a quick natter about new sounds, the north and narratives.

Noah and the Whale

are a busy bunch these days. Not content on making us bop around to sugarcoated, sun-filled indie pop, they’re also hell bent on entertaining everyone with their new film, and giving us everyday insight into their lives through their blog. Harriet Jennings managed to grab frontman Charlie Fink for a quick natter about new sounds, the north and narratives.

So the new album, ‘First Days of Spring’, is coming out very soon (31st August), can you tell us a bit about it?
About August 31st or the album?

The album…
I don’t know what to say… erm. It’s our second album coming out. It’s quite a departure for us; it has a different kind of sound. It’s quite different lyrically as well, I think.

Charlie, you’ve just finished making a film, is there a story behind this?
Yeah, it’s a 50 minute narrative film but it’s conventional in every other way except for the fact that its backbone is its soundtrack, which is the album. The narrative of the film is kinda hard to explain because it’s one of those stories where the pleasure in watching it is kinda the way it comes together at the end. It’s a film about people’s lives and relationships.

Blimey, how long did that take?
The project took about a year to fit it all through. But in the most intense way - it nearly killed me! It was only actually shot over eight days but it was a vast project.

So it’s a well known fact that the band’s name comes from the director and title of your favourite film; is this you following in his footsteps?
No, I wouldn’t say this was very much akin to what Noah Baumbach does. But I’ve always loved film and wanted to do something with film, in particular the idea of doing something with music and film, two things that really inspire me. I think there are lots of different directors that influence this but maybe there’s a little bit of his stuff in there.

Wikipedia informs me that the album consists of a narrative of a disillusioned relationship, that right?
That’s correct, yes.

No Laura Marling this time?
No, well the thing is the album is very much a man, well not necessarily a man, but a single person story; it’s not a duet. The album kind of picks up at the end of a relationship and the process that you go through grieving it and kind of reforming after it. It felt like it was a single person story.

You’re experimenting with a new electric sound on this album, how do you think this will translate to the stage?
The live performance now is a very different thing to what it’s been before. It’s definitely lead more by electric sounds, bigger sounds. And even the old songs are being given a new revise to kind of fit with that.

I understand that you’re playing Leeds and Reading mainstages very soon, which is going to be better?
Which is going to be better… well! Ok, well you’ve got a bit of a, is that a northern accent? So probably Leeds. I dunno. I’m looking forward to both of them, to be honest. Leeds actually is the only one that I can watch ‘cause at Readng, after we play, I’ve got to go to Bristol because we’re showing the film. But I’m sure both of them will be great.

Of course, diplomatic answer there
Yeah…

You’ve made a film, you have a blog, a Facebook, a Myspace and a Youtube account; do you think it’s important for bands to be multi-platform these days?
No, I think it’s definitely an amazing thing though, having the internet, because it means you can kind of distribute what you do really easily and I think it gives you an easier route to your audience, which is great. At the same time, I do think you sometimes miss the thrill of, the mystique of people like Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Leonard Cohen had in the sixties. They had this distance that makes them… I dunno. But I think that generally it’s a good thing.

You can pre-order the band’s new album ‘First Days Of Spring’ here.

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