The London, England-based folk rock group Noah and the Whale has canceled its 13-date North American tour so the quartet can return to the studio to work on their forthcoming album instead.

The jaunt was scheduled to kick off with a December 2 concert at Black Cat in Washington, DC, and conclude with a December 19 gig at The Independent in San Francisco, CA. Refunds are available at the point of purchase.

“We want to express our most sincere gratitude for everyone who has seen us play, said they would see us play or said two good words about the band,” the band said in a statement on their Web site. “Noah and the Whale will be back and we will be back many times.”

The band members also swore to their North American fans, “With new songs to disseminate and even more America-famished, we will cross the pond to tour across the continent from March 2009. This is a promise, a published, globally-viewable promise.”

Formed in 2006, the group’s moniker is a play off the indie film “The Squid and the Whale” and the name of the movie’s director, Noah Baumbach. Their debut album, “Peaceful, the World Lays Me Down,” was released in August 2008.

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