Tag Archives: Noah and the Whale

Charlie Fink – Cover My Tracks. Album Review

It’s been over two years since Noah and the Whale disbanded and all the members went their own way. Charlie Fink was initially keeping a low profile, but then released the song ‘My Heartbeat Lost It’s Rhythm’ in 2015 to give us a taster of what Charlie was going to later unleash onto the world…then we got COVER MY TRACKS which is indeed a fantastic and well-rounded album with plenty of offer, but a different direction to what I was expecting.

The album kicks off with the quaint and chilled ‘Firecracker’. The album opens with a relaxed melody which then carries on to ‘Anywhere You’re Going Is On My Way’ which is a very enthralling track that is so laid back, you could listen to this one song a million times over.

This is not to say the whole album is mellow, especially when track three kicks in. ‘I Was Born To Be A Cowboy’ will definitely get your foot tapping and the song will sit in your head all day. From this point, there does seem to be a lot of reflection (plenty of first person lines too) and it’s always nice to have that unique perspective which Charlie has always incorporated into his music.

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As the album goes on, there are certainly more peaceful, chilled-out tones with a few peaks along the way. As with many works by Charlie, there is a very personal feeling towards many of the songs. ‘The Howl’ and ‘Here Is Where We’ll Meet’ definitely keeps the album grounded.

It would be unfair to compare this to Noah and the Whale, but a couple of tracks were bound to get inspiration from the work that came before. That is the strength in this album, Charlie Fink has stuck to his roots and knows exactly what works for him. It would have been nice to see the more electronica side come out as teased from a few years back, but hopefully that will be for the next album.

Overall, I really enjoy this album. It works well as a complete story told from a female perspective, which is different to come from a male singer-songwriter, but that is the hook as you don’t expect it. After doing work on the stage adaptation of The Lorax and music for the film A Streetcat Named Bob, I couldn’t be happier to see the former NATW frontman back to making music!

Final rating: 9/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

The album is available now through Amazon, iTunes and can be streamed on Spotify!

Cover_My_Tracks,_album_artwork_for_Charlie_Fink's_album

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Noah and the Whale’s Charlie Fink announces solo album

It’s been over two years since Noah and the Whale brought their tenure as a band to an end (on April Fools Day! It still stings!). But, where we had Fred Abbott release his debut effort SERIOUS POKE, Matt Owens doing some solo work and with his band Little Mammoths, Tom Hobden joining Mumford & Sons and drummer Michael Petulla taking part in multiple projects…Charlie has been keeping busy with doing shows at The Old Vic and contributing to the soundtrack to the hit film ‘A Streetcat Named Bob’ (which was bloody brilliant!). Charlie Fink has made some great steps as a musician, and it will be fantastic to finally see him release his debut record.

COVER MY TRACKS will see Charlie Fink release his first album since 2013 with Noah and the Whale’s fourth album HEART OF NOWHERE. The album is to be released on Friday 2nd June, so not too long to wait. Then we have the theatre production at The Old Vic of the same name, which will see Charlie Fink and actress Jade Anouka take the stage from June 5th-17th. So not only is there a new album, but you can go for a night of live music pretty soon to see it performed before your very eyes.

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First track ‘Firecracker’ has been released and it sounds great. Similar to the 2015 track ‘My Heartbeat Lost It’s Rhythm’, the song has a significantly different style to the days of Noah and the Whale and their folk-rock melodies. Which is a good thing as this establishes the development in Charlie Fink’s musical production in the 10 years he has been releasing songs. While there is little known about the rest of the album, I think this will be a great release.

COVER MY TRACKS is due for release Friday 2nd June 2017 and is available through Amazon, iTunes and on www.charliefink.co (yes, that is the website. It’s not a typo!)

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

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Fred Abbott – Serious Poke. Album Review

Since the split of Noah And The Whale back in April, there has been a lot of attention on the former band members as they look to launch their own solo careers. With Matt Owens releasing his debut SONGS FOR AN EMPTY ROOM and Charlie Fink recently revealed his song ‘My Heartbeat Lost It’s Rhythm’, Fred Abbott was the first to get out there with new material just a week after the split. Now with the album SERIOUS POKE finally out to the world, it is time to see what Fred has been working on.

Kicking off the album, we get the punchy ‘Adrenaline Shot’, straight away the Rock N Roll jaunt begins. With hints of many classic rockers, it sounds familiar and unique. Then we get that catchy first single ‘Funny How Good It Feels’, if you are not tapping along to this one, I will feel sorry for you. The air guitar isn’t far away with this rush of immense power. ‘Awake’ then lightens up the record. It is interesting to note that Fred’s voice adapts perfectly into every track, this song hears a more gravel-tone voice used to great effect. Also that guitar solo is rather brilliant! Fred has been called “the British Tom Petty” a few times, and the track ‘Honey’ almost makes that title true. But, I prefer to acknowledge the style that Fred has is his own!  I feel myself thinking of Dire Straits, this song feels like something they could have produced with Fred on the team (I reckon Fred should cover a Dire Straits track, or collaborate with Mark Knopfler). ‘Hollywood’ brings us to the half-way point. A rather appropriate song, considering a lot of US rock is clearly an influence to this album.

‘One Hot Night’ continues the album with a very different song; you get a track which in my opinion brings influence from Noah And The Whale, and this I feel could have been a track for them. Though, it would still have to have Fred’s vocals. ‘Learn About Love’ continues Fred’s exploration of rock, finding different styles and influences is paying off with an album which isn’t afraid to change key and yet still feel part of the same collection. Tom Waits would be jealous of this song. ‘Don’t Look Like Him’ once again makes me believe a collaboration with Mark Knopfler should happen, I honestly think he and Fred should get together on some material and maybe get Fred to cover ‘Walk Of Life’ or ‘Money For Nothing’. Well, I can dream at least. The piano leads ‘Still Told A Lie’, a more emotional track comes as the penultimate song to SERIOUS POKE. It is a nice change of pace, and will certainly get the lighters in the air when played live. Finally we have ‘Lucky People’, the longest track on the album. It feels we are coming to a natural conclusion. The tempo may only be slightly higher than the previous song, but the song still carries a more sombre, mellow tone to it.

SERIOUS POKE is pure brilliance in a short space of time. You will find yourself passing all ten perfectly constructed tracks in no time. Also, one note to make is that a majority of this music was recorded with Fred’s former colleagues of Noah And The Whale, their closeness and friendship is definitely felt here and I certainly hope that these guys will continue to work together for a long time to come, even if the band may not be around anymore. Great sounds, a seriously fascinating ride is promised with this debut album. I already can’t wait to hear album two! I will go ahead and say it; this is my favourite album of the year so far. Also, the first album I have listened to in full twice when I first played it.

Final Rating: 10/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

Charlie Fink – My Heartbeat Lost Its Rhythm

Since April Fools Day, we have all been mourning the break-up of Noah and the Whale. Since that news emerged, all the members have been continuing with new projects. Founding member Matt Owens started his own solo career, as did Fred Abbott (check out ‘Funny How Good It Feels’, a great song). Now Charlie Fink has emerged with his own debut solo song, three months after the split was announced.

Gone is the melancholic folk and new wave indie rock, instead is a more electronic and upbeat splash of vibrant sound that instantly gets you. His heartbeat may have lost rhythm, but his musical abilities surely haven’t. Give it a few listens, you shall be enjoying this one very much. Though this may not sound as grand as some of the tracks from Noah and the Whale, it does keep a distinctive tone throughout and the only real link to the band is through the vocals you hear. It is a new day, the new Charlie Fink is here!

The day Noah and the Whale split was a bad one for many fans, but it goes to show that so far we have had three solo projects that have all been exceptional so far. Though I still am eager to hear more, I still can’t help but think this could have been a direction for the band. But, Charlie has won me over.

Final rating: 8.5/10

Charlie Fink My heartbeat pic

Fred Abbott – Adrenaline Shot

Well, July 20th will see the debut album from former Noah and the Whale member Fred Abbott get its release. Back in April, we got our first tease with the catchy rock track ‘Funny How Good It Feels’. Now we get our second cut from SERIOUS POKE with ‘Adrenaline Shot’. The results, as before, are spectacular and superb. The singer/songwriter knows his music.

Going from the 70’s-80’s sound which filled his debut track, ‘Adrenaline Shot’ is punchy and has a slight grunge feel to it. While not as hard-hitting as the previous song, it certainly will get you nodding along to it and singing it after a few listens. Fred Abbott has got a great knowledge of music, he is performing what he likes and we are happy to take it all in. The lyrics are catchy and the music is care-free and fun. Also at under three minutes, it greatly encourages you to play it again.

If you want to know more about Fred, you can hear the interview I recorded with him through this link: Fred Abbott Interview

The song is available on iTunes from Monday 15th June, while SERIOUS POKE will be out on Monday 20th July.

Final Rating: 9/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

Noah and the Whale's Fred Abbott shares new song 'Adrenaline Shot

The end of Noah And The Whale. Today I Lost My Favourite Band…

There is a huge part of me that is really hoping that this news is just an April fool’s joke! This band has been a huge part of my life for years. Since I listened to PEACEFUL, THE WORLD LAYS ME DOWN in 2008, I was instantly hooked on the folk-rock melodies that Charlie Fink and his band produced. The songs always made me think of the future, from today though, they will now make me think of the past. I remember the day that I and my best friend both bought the album; I actually played that CD so much I swear the thickness of the disc was halved by the end of that year. Then, in 2009 I got tickets to go and see them, but the first gig almost didn’t happen…

Friday 6th March 2009, Shepherds Bush Empire. The band I had been hooked on for some time, I was inches away from seeing them live. As I arrived at the venue, I saw that I had left my ticket in my car miles away from the venue. Distraught and upset, I almost gave up on going inside. Though by luck, I managed to get another ticket at the cost of £20. I went in, I loved every second. Finally, the songs I had become so acquainted to being performed before my very eyes and I really enjoyed it so. Getting to sing ‘5 Years Time’ with this band was just fantastic. I walked out that venue with such a spring in my step and eagerly awaiting more. Then, in August 2009, THE FIRST DAYS OF SPRING was released. Never had I heard such a dramatic change in style from a band, while still maintaining their identity. I thought I overplayed the first album, but their sophomore release was probably even more played than the first. To this day, I would still call it my favourite album of all time. Why? The tunes are heartfelt and meaningful, the moods in the duration of the album are strongly reflective of a relationship as it ends and your life begins a new and there was nothing else quite like it. Charlie Fink used real experiences to create this masterpiece, and I wasted no time in embracing this album into my life. The title track was incredibly moving, the middle made me want to leap up and dance while the rest was a soul-enlightening experience which I enjoy going back to at any given opportunity.

I continued to see the band live on a regular basis. From Koko Club and The Roundhouse in Camden to Somerset House, I saw this band many times and enjoyed each night thoroughly. Then, when a third album was on the horizon, I was then introduced to even more songs which I instantly loved. LAST NIGHT ON EARTH brought yet again a different tone to the proceedings, while some tracks could have easily been connected to tracks from the first two albums; the third release saw the band experiment a more electronic sound while still keeping the folk roots grounded. As the number of times I saw them grew, so did the size of their venues. The fourth album came, and though it was not a topper on the previous releases, HEART OF NOWHERE was still a Noah And The Whale album and would still see plenty of spins. Alas, the show that saw them with one of their biggest ever audiences, The O2 Arena in London, was to be the last time I saw this band live. This marked the tenth time I had seen them and I embraced the idea of my favourite band playing an arena again in the near future.

Though today, on a day that should be about light-hearted jokes and adolescent pranks, I lost my favourite band today! It has been a great time. The four albums will always hold a place in my music collection, THE FIRST DAYS OF SPRING will always be a lifelong favourite and I shall never forget the times I was able to experience and share this band with family, friends and those who would listen to the fantastic sounds of Noah and the Whale. I say goodbye to Michael, Fred, Urby, Tom and Charlie and I hope that all you guys will continue to influence the music in my life and I will be hoping that one day my favourite band will come back.

“Well I don’t think that it’s the end, but I know we can’t keep going. Well I don’t think that it’s the end, but I know we can’t keep going. Because blue skies are coming, but I know that it’s hard”

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

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My Top 5 songs of the 2010’s (so far)

During a radio show I did between 2010-2014, I did an annual round-up of my top songs of that year. Now, I am going to have these five tracks battle it out to see what is truly the greatest song of the 2010’s so far…

  1. Alex Louise – Bad Day (Top song of 2014)

A song which I think almost anyone can relate to. This track features singer-songwriter Alex Louise battling her way through a day in which everything seems to go wrong. Rather than letting it get her down, she decides to keep her head up high and just sing. Though probably one of the least known musicians in this list, that takes nothing away from the fantastic writing and the bouncy tune which gets you dancing along to it during its running time. Her debut album LUCKY is the place to go if you enjoy fun, catchy music.

  1. Iwan Rheon – Bang! Bang! (Top song of 2013)

Iwan Rheon may be more known for his acting in shows such as MisFits and Game Of Thrones, the welsh star is also an established musician. His third EP came out in 2013 to great acclaim and this song led it. A simple tune with the majority of the sounds coming from a single acoustic guitar, the song flows comfortably and gets you bopping your head during them thumps. It may not stand out too much after its first listen, but once you have repeated it you will find you’re instantly hooked.

  1. Laura Marling – Goodbye England (Covered In Snow) (Top song of 2010)

Laura Marling saw a lot of things happen following the release of her second album I SPEAK BECAUSE I CAN. Laura went on achieve her first Top 5 album, very positive reviews all round and even a BRIT award win the following year. The album contained this track in its centre. A song about her and her Dad taking in the beautiful sight of a snow covered England, it is a beautiful tune and the lyrics are personal throughout. This is a song which comes from a mature and old voice, though really Laura was only 19 when recording a majority of the songs for this album.

  1. The Rasmus – Stranger (Top song of 2012)

The Rasmus may sadly not get the same attention as they did a decade ago, but this band can still impress. With the release of 2012 album THE RASMUS, the band returned and brought with them probably one of the strongest tracks in their portfolio. The band keeps to their simple four-piece set-up and brings a song which mixes pop-rock, metal and their alternative roots. Lauri Ylonen still impresses with his vocals and the tone is typical Rasmus but at the same time is something that is very different and exciting.

  1. Noah And The Whale – L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N. (Top song of 2011)

Noah And The Whale had been in the background of British music for years. It wasn’t until the release of LAST NIGHT ON EARTH that the band really took off. Having one of the top-selling singles of the year and outselling albums from Red Hot Chili Peppers, Kings Of Leon and Arctic Monkeys. The track itself tells the story of two individuals and joins them together with a chorus in which we are told that life goes on and that we should just be ourselves and not worry about anything except ourselves as we all have a heart. Just a great tune, fantastic lyrics and a beat which will grab you.

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove