A Slice of Fried Gold

Review: Freelance Whales - Weathervanes

Thursday, January 7, 2010

"freelance whales...you will love generator 2nd story...look into it. new. texting and driving."

That text message two days ago from my friend Kellie was the very first time I heard of the band Freelance Whales. This five piece group from Queens were so fitting for my tastes that Kellie risked her life (and clean driving record) to get me to listen to them. Evidently she had heard them from her long lost love/favorite DJ John in the Morning from Seattle's indispensable radio station KEXP, and she quickly had to share the track.

I of course immediately started listening to "Generator 2nd Floor" on their MySpace page. Then I listened a second time. Just to be sure I listened a third time. Then I listened to "Generator 1st Floor." Then I just threw objectivity and extensive listening to the wind and purchased their debut album Weathervanes off Amazon MP3 (just $9.99!) and here I am - a big fan of a band I hadn't heard of before two days ago and one that hasn't even released a physical album before.

Weathervanes was just released to digital media on December 29th and has quickly caught a buzz amongst the musical illuminati across the country. Their debut brought the interest of stellar indie label Frenchkiss (home of Passion Pit, crafter of my favorite album of 2009), who will be releasing this album March 16th. Save the date, because this is a joyous and oft beautiful album, channeling the multi-instrumental folk affectations of Sufjan Stevens while really layering their sound with pop sensibilities and a true sense of warmth.

Within the 13 tracks on their debut, Freelance Whales manage to create a sound that is reminiscent of many others yet wholly their own. Whether it's the synth and banjo that leads off opening track "Generator 1st Floor", the joyous singalong vocals that comprise the chorus of its opposite number "Generator 2nd Floor", or the Halloween, Alaska times Sufjan glitch pop stunner "Starring" that brilliantly infuses synth with live instrumentation, you have an eclectic album that is surprising not just in its structure and diversity, but the assured nature of the songwriting. There is a real level of confidence to this album that you wouldn't generally get from most debut albums, yet you get the feeling that the fact that this is a debut never really weighed heavily on this group's mind.

If you want a wonderfully diverse and charming pop album that really subscribes to every genre and no genre simultaneously, I highly recommend Freelance Whales debut Weathervanes. If I may suggest a methodry of purchase, you can pre-order the vinyl or CD on their website and it comes with a digital copy. Did not know that before hand and regret it now, but it's okay. I can just listen to their album and feel better.

Freelance Whales - Weathervanes: A-


Kellie said...

I'm glad you liked it buddy...giving you new ideas for music to try is always hit or miss because you've heard everything already. I am glad I could do this for you once (since you do this for me about 20-30 times per month.)

WINK. Love Kellie

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