The continued maturation of Noah and the Whale has been a pleasing thing to follow — from the joyous burst of their debut ‘Peaceful, the World Lays Me Down’ through the lovelorn sobriety of ‘The First Days of Spring’, through to 2011’s Platinum selling ‘Last Night on Earth’, and now their fourth studio album 'Heart of Nowhere'.
Where ‘The First Days of Spring’ was a contained and inward-looking record that moved at near-underwater speed, ‘Last Night on Earth’ possessed a curiosity and a vibrancy, a romance and a restlessness, and a clutch of songs that marked out Fink as not just as one of the best songwriters of his generation, but also as a supremely gifted storyteller.
February 2012, and Noah and the Whale’s tour had at long last carried the band back to London, back to the synagogue where they had recorded ‘Last Night on Earth’, back to the beginnings of a new album.
What followed was a process of collaboration, with frontman and principal songwriter, Charlie Fink encouraging the rest of the band to contribute more to the songwriting process, and recording the album live, to embrace all of the cracks and scuffs and happy accidents he could. The result is a record that sounds by turns melancholy and withdrawn, and at others flushed and exuberant. But there is a looseness to these songs that speaks of a band full-grown and at ease with its sound.