Friday, 11 December 2009

18: Noah & The Whale - Five Years' Time

My favourite song of 2008. The whistling one that isn't Peter, Bjorn and John. The sound of that summer. The mandatory Laura Marling guest appearance (it seemed like she popped up on just about every folk hit of 2008). Twickenham-based Noah & The Whale released a song that on first glance seemed joyously happy, but on digging deeper, revealed its pessimistic side. The "sun, sun, sun", "fun, fun, fun" and "love, love, love" choruses seem unambiguous, but this is quite clearly a song about taking advantage of the present. "In five years' time we might not get along" suggests a painful end to the story. But there's a light at the end of the tunnel. The last line is "in five years' time you might just prove me wrong". This is a song about the pointlessness of trying to predict the future. The singer hopes that his relationship will last, suspects it won't, but, in truth, doesn't really know.

Where do I think I'll be five years from now? And looking back five years, have I achieved what I set out to do? The end of a year, the end of a decade, these types of calendar-based cut-off points provide an opportunity for self-assessment and for planning. Likewise, Noah & The Whale's hit, which reached #7 in the UK charts - a lofty height for a debut single by a folk group - makes me think about the past, present and future. It's quite inspirational in that sense.... anything is possible.

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