Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Noah and the Whale | The First Days of Spring

In 2009, British folk/rock band Noah and the Whale released their second album, The First Days of Spring, and its accompanying film of the same name. It was a departure in sound and mood from their 2008 debut, Peaceful, The World Lays Me Down, a poppy album that featured the vocals of Laura Marling. Marling’s subsequent departure in favor of a solo career left a hole in Noah and the Whale. Perhaps more significantly, it marked the end of her romantic relationship with front man Charlie Fink.

The First Days of Spring is the result of Fink’s heartbreak-inspired emotional outpouring. The music and the film are meant to be experienced together. Noah and the Whale’s name is derived from Noah Baumbach’s film, The Squid and the Whale, and their first foray into moviemaking takes more than a few cues from Baumbach’s frequent writing partner and collaborator, Hollywood auteur Wes Anderson. Slow motion shots, stylishly dressed characters, and the seamless pairing of music and elegant cinematography serve The First Days of Spring as it interweaves multiple melancholy storylines. The overall effect is raw, moving, and captures the misery of heartbreak: the agony of loss, loneliness, and the nagging pain of hope.

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