We’re bringing out the synthesizers for this Press Play Friday with Freelance Whales
With any new emerging band, fresh from releasing their first album, you will always have to ask, “Are they going to stick around long enough, so we can see what they can really do?” For Freelance Whales, there is no doubt in my mind that they will definitely be around for a while.
Their debut album Weathervanes is a mix of synth pop, alternative rock, and good old-fashioned catchy songwriting. What sets them apart from most bands, is that they take their time to set up each song with pops of bells, strings, and synth; to make sure you are paying attention to their well crafted songs. At first, I was kind of dumbfounded by this. Why the break? Give me more! But, when you step back and look, actually look at what they were trying to accomplish, you will see the set up for a ballad of different harmonious sequences, not just an album full of songs.
With songs like The Great Estates and Broken Horse, it’s clear that there is more to this synth-pop-rock-folk band. Both have a bluesy, rustic feel that seem to tell tall tales suitable for any campfire. While, funky songs like Kilojoules and Location have unheard phrases and lyrics that make it easy just to sing along and still think about their meaning in the process.
You already know that I’m a fan of their song Starring (Previously mentioned in a Press Play Friday) with its beautiful chorus and melody. But, we still haven’t heard from my favorites in the bunch.
It’s hard to pick my absolute favorite because I love them all (I say that a lot, don’t I?). So, let’s begin with the first song I ever heard of Freelance Whales: Generator ^ 2nd Floor. The opening string solo breaks way into the main melody that makes you want to jump up and sing-along.
I have to say that most of their songs are catchy, because I find my self singing them at the oddest times and places, just out of nowhere. But, Ghosting is probably the one I find myself singing the most. The ending chorus is my favorite part. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s the oddball lyrics or the fact that some of their lyrics are like poetry – in the way that you have to break them down to really understand their meaning.
And as I started rediscovering the album, I found that my new favorite song is Hannah. The up-tempo song with (If I say catchy again, you’ll probably kill me. But, it’s true. I’m sorry) MEMORABLE lyrics make it one of the standout’s on the album.
Album Rating: A-
About Freelance Whales
“The handclapping indie pop of Freelance Whales was born on the streets and subways of New York City after the band’s formation in Queens at the end of 2008. After amassing a collection of miscellaneous instruments, including a harmonium and waterphone, frontman Judah Dadone enlisted the help of fellow musicians Kevin Read, Doris Cellar, Jake Hyman, and Chuck Criss to realize his D.I.Y.-sounding, folk-inspired pop songs. To perfect its sound, the band took to the streets busking and playing at various venues in and around New York City, including Staten Island’s Farm Colony. At the beginning of 2009 and with a collection of songs written, they set about recording their debut, Weathervanes. The self-released album picked up favorable reviews on various Internet blogs with the band being compared to Arcade Fire — mainly for its use of unusual instruments — and Sufjan Stevens. In September 2009 they signed a deal with Frenchkiss Records to release Weathervanes internationally in 2010.”
Do you love Freelance Whales? What is your favorite song? Never heard of them before? Will you check them out? Tell me in the comments!