Fresh-faced London folkies come of age

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Noah And The Whale – The First Days Of Spring

Noah And The Whale’s chirpy folk ditty “5 Years Time” was a surprise interloper in last summer’s Top 10, but The First Days Of Spring is a very different kettle of fish.

Ambitious, orchestral and accompanied by a 45-minute film, it candidly documents singer Charlie Fink’s recovery from a badly broken heart. “I Have Nothing” and “Stranger” mine a strain of epic, earthy melancholy somewhere between James Yorkston and Arcade Fire.

Closure is finally achieved on the gorgeous “My Door Is Always Open” and only an ill-advised mid-section (where it all goes a bit Godspell)spoils the mood.

SAM RICHARDS

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