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Weathervanes, the groups debut LP, finished tracking just a few nights earlier. Swirling with organic and synthetic textures, interlocking rhythmic patterns, and light harmonic vocals, the record works to tell a simple, pre-adolescent love story: a young male falls in love with a spectral young femme who haunts his childhood home. He chases her in his dreams but finds her to be mostly elusive. He imagines her alive, and wonders if someday he ll take on her responsibilities of ghosting, or if maybe he ll join her, elsewhere.
Since their brief residency at the Farm Colony, Freelance Whales have taken to city streets, subway platforms, and stages with their swirling nostalgia. Many people who found them playing in those public spaces managed to forget what train they were supposed to take. And so, after playing in New York City, almost exclusively for about a year, they embarked on their first tour of the United States and Canada. They saw buffalos on hilltops, armies of windmills and people who let music run their blood in reverse.
Top Customer Reviews
However, I may really love this album for all the wrong reasons. I first heard of Freelance Whales on NPR (which, surprisingly, is where I find a lot of the music I listen to these days). The first thing I did after hearing about them in the car that fateful Saturday morning was to jump onto the web and download their album.
What they've written and produced is full of movement, emotion, depth and complexity. I can bob my head with many of the songs on the album. The ones I can't head bob to are great for slow dancing with my wife in my home. All of them are great for driving in the car. There's not a song on this playlist that I don't dig - and it's worth listening straight through without shuffling. To say the least, this album makes me feel really good. If I were to give it a visual, it would be like thousands of golden lightning bugs lighting the dark around me wherever I'm walking (I don't mean to say that these guys are lighting the path of my life, but that they really provide a lot of warmth to what can sometimes be cold and ordinary). It makes me think a lot of friendship / companionship.
All of this is great. All of this is enough to run out and buy this album right now (or... run in and download it).
But the reasons I love this... my wrong reasons... are as follows:
I feel like this album is what you would get if you mixed the vocals of The Postal Service with a dash of Fleet Foxes and laid them over the complexity of Sufjan Stevens' rhythm and composition. These guys mix electronic instruments with acoustics (from what seems to sound like banjos at times, guitars at others) and know how to effectively go a capella before launching into another electronic assault on your senses.
Why wouldn't I love this this album?
As far as style, I'd call it folk-pop-electronic. They are somewhere in the same musical neighborhood as Passion Pit, Phoenix, The Bird and The Bee, and maybe Imogen Heap (if that is a neighborhood); but with the acoustic instruments and vocal harmonies, they also remind me of Crosby, Stills and Nash and Monsters of Folk. All that notwithstanding - this band really has its own sound and the comparisons only tell part of the story.
Listening to Weathervanes always makes me happy. I put it on while I'm making the kids' lunches in the morning, or when we're setting out on a trip in the car. It's very rich in feeling. I haven't heard music like this in a long time.
Weathervanes is that kind of rare album that's much more than just good pop music or a promising debut. It's quite special. It might be destined to be a classic, like the first CSN album (the one with Wooden Ships).
The music is complex, tuneful, elegant, and just generally washes over you like it's sunset in Hawaii, and you're never planning to return home. The dream-state lyrics of this, first Freelance Whales album draw me in, never fail to leave me happy, and remind me of why I bother being alive.
(We Could Be Friends)
"I am convinced that we should be friends
We compare our hearts to things that fly
But cannot land
Please don't put your face into your hands, we could be friends
Please don't put your face into your hands, we could be friends"
"Bundle up and come with me now
Down the road where to the burned down barn
We could make a blanket of coats
And breathe our souls into the neighbor's front lawn
But, oh god, that look in your eye
Trouble that does not search words
It sprung from the biblical vine and
Awaiting to return to the dirt"
We traveled to Williamsburg to see these guys a few months ago, and they put on a heck of a show (See? I resisted the urge to say "Whale of a show". Proud of me?) I was amazed that the rich textures of the studio albums come across so well in a live performance.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I happened upon a single track and loved so much we downloaded the whole album and now we keep it in the car!Published on February 11, 2014 by Megan Perkins
Promising debut album, lush harmonies with sharp writing on many songs. I didn't love it from start to finish, but there are enough high spots to make it worthwhile.Published on December 5, 2013 by Joey Self
Daughter had been looking for this She was thrilled to get it. for her birthday She loves exploring new musicPublished on November 30, 2012 by Susan Irwin
I highly recommend this album. The first song I listened to was Generator ^ First Floor. A friend told me about them and I gave the CD a complete listen through and was humming the... Read morePublished on November 3, 2012 by Daniel
Fans of Sufjan Stevens, Counting Crows, and any other melancholy rock/indie will be immediately drawn to this rare and textured "kilojoule. Read morePublished on October 12, 2012 by Tennisartist85
Two thumbs up- love this album...can't wait for their next one.
I got into the band, admittedly, because of Darren Criss- who promotes the band to no end because his brother... Read more
I was first attracted by the dynamics of their work, and the fact that the instrumentation and arrangements were definitely unique and unpolished, yet still somehow ear-friendly. Read morePublished on September 21, 2011 by dizzy Kitchen music (Consignment)