Noah and the Whale start their interview ten minutes early. For those who have never interviewed a band before, this is no mean feat. Normally you sit there while the soundcheck drags on until the morose, Northern tour manager finally comes and says to you, "sorry mate, do you mind coming back in two hours?" Well yes I bloody well do, but you don't say that and instead return later, and nod politely as the band tell you how they rocked Hull last night.

Noah and the Whale don't do any of this. In fact they seem rather too nice - bassist Urby tells me that "there's not much duller than a band telling everyone how drunk they got the night before". Possibly true, but it does make for good copy.

What also made for good copy was their surprise hit of the summer, ‘5 Years Time', a syrupy sweet three minute gem of a pop song with a strumming ukulele, whistling and an unavoidably hummable refrain. They seem as surprised as anyone that their lo-fi folk-rock was suddenly propelled onto national airwaves: "we never planned to get famous," drummer Doug tells me, and for a band that's barely out of school they seem to have taken it in their stride. If they avoided the ‘bedwetters' label of fellow public school types Coldplay and Keane, it's the t-word (twee, that is) that hangs over them, and it's certainly a dent to most bands' credibility if their music is included in the latest Now compilation, as their summer hit now is. "Are we a pop singles act?" Doug wonders. "Actually, we're many things to many people", and fortunately he's right. The rest of their album Peaceful the World Lays Me Down is nowhere near as nauseatingly sweet. While Doug drums, his brother Charlie provides vocals, his lyrics shot through with twinges of melancholy and bitter-sweetness amid the whimsical fiddle and accordion. Occasionally the doggerel gets rather too close to that t-word again - "Oh, well it's hard to look deep into your soul/Not everything you'll find will be perfect gold" on the title track for example - or the rather clichéd metaphor that runs through every song in the album of the physical heart as a symbol for love. But for the most part their playful poppy folk with a melancholic bite sounds like it should have been the alternative soundtrack to Juno, or the next Wes Anderson film.

They probably wouldn't like the label, but Noah and the Whale are part of a growing English Indie-Folk scene with close links to Laura Marling and Emmy the Great (who both feature on their album), along with Lightspeed Champion, Jeremy Warmsley and others. They've made links across the ponds with the likes of Jeffrey Lewis and the New York anti-folk scene there, and though unsaid, it seems as though their recent tour to America was not quite the success they hoped for. Playing in your home country is far better and the "natural way to build up a band," Doug tells me.

What are their plans for the future, then? One overlooked aspect that accompanies their music is their endearingly quirky self-made videos; singer Charlie has promised a full-length film to accompany the new album next year, and they're excited about the prospect. They've also managed to get to the end of the interview without mentioning the name of "that song"; if they are secretly sick to death of it, they're too nice to show it. But whatever they are doing in 5 Years Time, you can be sure they won't be featuring on the latest Now album.

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