Song Of The Day

Noah And The Whale: The Aftermath Begins

Noah and the Whale's "The First Days of Spring" opens with a drum beat that's part heartbeat, part funeral dirge — which makes sense, given that it kicks off a song cycle about the aftermath of a breakup. What follows, both in the song and on the album that bears its name, is masterful, beautiful, epic, string-swept and ultimately comforting. Even when it exudes misery, it deserves company.

Thursday's Pick

  • Song: "The First Days of Spring"
  • Artist: Noah and the Whale
  • CD: The First Days of Spring
  • Genre: Rock
Noah and the Whale i i

hide caption"The First Days Of Spring" is like a flu shot for heartsickness: It injects enough poison to leave listeners feeling immune.

courtesy of the artist
Noah and the Whale

"The First Days Of Spring" is like a flu shot for heartsickness: It injects enough poison to leave listeners feeling immune.

courtesy of the artist

A microcosm of the record that follows, the title track's first line is appropriately portentous, capturing a world of hope, fear and disappointment: "It's the first day of spring / and my life is starting over again." Singer Charlie Fink knows he's in for a rough ride, emotionally speaking, and it's clear that he hasn't altogether left the denial phase of his grief. He never sounds less hopeful than when he sings, "I'm still here hoping that one day you may come back."

Mixing the slow-burning grace of The National with the open-hearted warmth of Adem, "The First Days of Spring" spends nearly seven minutes seething and building and exploding. It takes a self-contained journey, but for those who hear it and wonder how Noah and the Whale can sustain its beauty for 40 minutes, know this: As in the process of rebirth it describes, this is only the beginning. The ride can be wrenching, but "The First Days Of Spring" is a lot like a flu shot for heartsickness: It injects enough poison to leave listeners feeling immune.

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