Noah and the Whale: “My Broken Heart”

noahandthewhaleBreaking up, they say, is hard to do. So every time a relationship ends (and there are many times, since they never last long with me), I go searching for the perfect soundtrack to my sadness. You know, so I can eke something cathartically beautiful and painful out of an experience that would, otherwise, be purely painful. And, as much as I enjoy poring over my music collection so I can concoct the perfect self-indulgent brew of misery-specific songs, I can’t truly express how excited I was that Noah and the Whale’s second full-length, The First Days of Spring, serves as the ultimate lick-your-wounds breakup album, unraveling every stage of love gone awry. Sharing the same name as a Dali painting, you know it’s going to be seeped in anguish.

From the initial, in-denial optimism of the first and title track (“I’m still here hoping / That one day you may come back”) to the feeling that things can’t get any worse (“You can break my broken heart”) and there’s nothing left to live for (“Everything I love has gone away”) to a glimmer of hope that, even though the symptoms point to imminent death, this heartbreak might not actually be fatal (“You know in a year it’s gonna be better / You know in a year I’m gonna be happy”), and, finally, life goes on (“Blue skies are coming / but I know that it’s hard”) and, finally, I will be better off without you (“Your love is like a knife to the back / I was stabbed and bleeding but begging for attack”) and you will be better off without me (“I will only let you down”) but maybe we can be friends (“My door is always open”)? Live vicariously through this particularly excruciating parting of ways at the Swedish American Hall tonight.

Noah and the Whale – My Broken Heart

Who: Noah and the Whale

What: The First Days of Spring

When: 10.6.2009

Where: Twickenham, London, England

Why: “Broken hearts are a fickle thing and complicated too / I thought I believed in love but I’ve never seen it through.”

How: Cherry Tree


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