I saw the video for this song (posted below) a while back and quickly fell in love with it. Noah & the Whale are one of the many bands in the recent English indie-folk movement. A bit of an oxymoron, isn’t it? These days, it seems just as hard categorizing the folk genre as it is categorizing indie. Both genres, especially indie (I believe the description is a huge JT pet peeve), seem to get tossed around like snowballs whenever acoustic guitars and heartfelt lyrics are mixed with a particularly lo-fi production quality. Is Juno and the resurrection of the Moldy Peaches solely responsible for this? Doubtful.
But as I was saying, Noah & the Whale are from London, England. They released a couple of singles last year and received quite a bit of ‘blogdom buzz’ in the process. One of the singles is a sharp, little tune called “Five Years Time.” The song combines a festively swirling ukulele with some jittery violin, playful hand claps, and earnest vocals to craft a near-perfect pop song.
Lyrically, the song takes the listener on a journey through the thoughts about a magical first encounter. An encounter on the bus during the morning commute. Perhaps a friendly glance exchanged while at the deli for lunch. Or maybe it happens at a familiar bar on a random night after squabbling with a friend. A place he’s frequented many times over. A place he never expected seeing such a glorious face he knew he’d never forget as soon as he walked through the doorway. A happy accident in the truest sense.
“Oh well, in five years time we could be walking ’round a zoo / With the sun shining down over me and you / And there’ll be love in the bodies of the elephants too / And I’ll put my hands over your eyes, but you’ll peek through”
Eventually, these initial thoughts turn into a relationship formed. Butterflied anxiety and joyful glee are met with unbridled companionship. Fairytale trips to the zoo are experienced. Cliched moments and giddy feelings happen constantly. And even though a few clouds cast a shadow over the sun at times, very little will keep them from feeling on top of the world.
“Oh well, I look at you and say ‘this is the happiest I’ve ever been’ / And I’ll say that I no longer have to be James Dean / And she’ll say, ‘yeah, well I feel pretty happy too / And I’m always pretty happy when I’m just kicking back with you'”
Random encounter. Developed friendship. Legally bounded partnership.
Five years ago, an unexpected relationship was created. The events within are rarely as easy as we dream them to be. And even though it isn’t always “fun, fun, fun,” the most important part is the evolving “love, love, love, all through our bodies.”
These sorts of encounters may seem like they never materialize. But there is a chance. Always. Least expecting, where ever you go…