Following up the whistle-along anthem of the summer was never going to be an easy task for Noah and the Whale. There was something irresistibly zeitgeisty at the beginning of the summer in Five Years’ Time’s promise of fun fun fun and sun sun sun and the song captured the country’s imagination. As a result, anything less FM-worthy than its predecessor was bound to be a disappointment to many.
All of which detracts from the fact that Shape of My Heart is a very good record in its own right. Another instantly catchy chorus and a fanfare of mariachi trumpets give it a typically poppy feel, but under its simplistic exterior is a rather melancholy message. Charlie Fink’s refrain is actually rather tragic; “If there’s any love in me don’t let it show. If there’s any love in me don’t let it grow”. The song’s contrasting emotions seem to invite its audience to look beyond their first impression and the gut reaction that drew them to Five Years Time in the first place.
NATW have carved a niche in making music that is cleverer than it first sounds and more fun by half. And Shape of My Heart is their best tune yet.
Words: Olly Brown