Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Noah And The Whale '5 Years Time'

Chart Peak: 7

Brothers Charlie and Doug Fink joined forces with mates Tom and Urby to form Noah And The Whale back in 2006... Their incredibly catchy single '5 Years Time' was one of the songs of the summer - it reached No. 7 in the UK chart in July 2008
OK, I admit this song was one of the reasons I wanted to do this album on its fifth anniversary. Yes, I'm that obvious. Of course, when I first had that thought in about 2010, I was expecting to place them among the one-hit wonders on this album (at least in singles terms), but come 2011 they re-appeared as a more soft-rock oriented act and made a second appearance in the Top 20. This is closer to their original folk-rock style and even features Laura Marling on backing vocal, taking a break from her usual pastime of getting nominated for a Mercury prize. This is her only big hit single, although she also made the Top 40 on 'Young Love' by the Mystery Jets. The knowledge that she was at the time of recording dating Charlie Fink from the band just adds to the slightly self-satisfied faux-naive air of the song.

The song is indeed catchy but it plays the stopping and starting card a bit too often.  It keeps coming to an end and coming back, and less is definitely more in this case. Something about it feels a bit too contrived. I'm not sure whether you're supposed to root for the protagonists but I find them a bit annoying, and the arrangement has a slightly empty quality that overemphasises their voices, neither of which I like much, and which don't really gel. Five years later I don't mind this song as much as I did at the time because it's less ubiquitous. But I still sort of find myself hoping the imaginary couple singing this song together aren't still together.

Also appearing on: Now 78
Available on: Peaceful, The World Lays Me Down

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