Noah and the Whale at Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn

When Noah and the Whale walk on stage, they bring a cornucopia of appealing resonance. With verbose lyrics and instruments including the xylophone, the violin the kazoo, front man Charlie Fink provides a soundtrack that’s a remedy for any disheartened listener. However, Fink and his band refuse to dwell on the overexerted mawkish emotions. Instead, he promises these sentiments as fleeting and focuses on the positive, both in instrumentation and lyrics.

Upon walking onto the stage Saturday night at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, it was apparent that this quintet was there for the music; they navigated their way through the jaunty tune “2 Atoms in a Molecule” and then immediately jumped into the more subversive and sultry “Give a Little Love.” They instantly rendered themselves as successful performers by plotting every song with melancholic dream pop and folk twang. They have a recipe: when the music is vigorous, the lyrics are tender. When their sound is gentle, the lyrics are spirited.

Hailing from London, Noah and the Whale have gained a steady following in the US, selling out multiple venues (including the Music Hall of Williamsburg). However, they approach the stage with modesty, seemingly refusing to be touted as “that London band.”

Noah and the Whale at Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn

It was refreshing to see them care about the music and the audience instead of their physical appearance. They were deprived of the pretentious, sloppy hipster gear that so many don today. Instead, they insist on making their name through their magnetism on stage and the arc of music that they construct.

With an upcoming new album, these guys mixed the perfect indie-folk template even allowing the audience to sing-along to the sanguine lyrics “you know in a year it’s gonna be better; you know in a year I’m gonna be happier.”

Ferraby Lionheart at Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn

The heartfelt opener Ferraby Lionheart

They are refreshing, brimming with sorrow and hope. They have yet to see it all and experience it all but they invite you to explore this majestic road with them.–Eliza K. Johnston/photos by Tear-n Tan