Language Advisory: This is a live concert recording, and may not contain language suitable for all audiences.
It's hard to find a Noah and the Whale fan who fully endorses all three of the U.K. folk-pop group's three albums, which is a testament to the group's versatility and unpredictability. Best of the three is the breathtaking 2009 song cycle The First Days of Spring — one of the finest breakup albums of recent years — but that slow-moving gem isn't really designed for sun-baked festival crowds. Its recent, unexpectedly synth-driven follow-up, Last Night on Earth, is peppier: not as satisfying for longtime fans, but more conducive to amphitheater-based listening while NPR-branded beach balls bob around overhead.
Recorded live at The Gorge on Monday, May 30, Noah and the Whale performs as part of the 2011 Sasquatch Music Festival outside Seattle, Wash.
Copyright NPR. View this article on npr.org.