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Weathervanes

4.6 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Calling them multi-instrumentalists might be overdone. Freelance Whales are really just collectors, at heart. They don t really fancy buffalo nickels or Victorian furniture, but over the past two years, they ve been collecting instruments, ghost stories, and dream-logs. Somehow, from this strange compost heap of strange sounds and quiet thoughts, songs started to rise up like steam from the ground. The first performance of these songs happened January of 2009, in Staten Island s abandoned Farm Colony, a dilapidated geriatric ward. A seemingly never-ending jigsaw of rooms, the Farm Colony ate them whole and threatened to never regurgitate them. And though the onlookers were only spiritual presences, the group was still palpably nervous and visibly cold. After a bit of singing, strumming and stomping asbestos, they realized that they d found a good crowd. They heard clapping from an adjacent room, but not a single soul asked for their record.

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.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 16, 2010)
  • Original Release Date: March 16, 2010
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: MOM & POP MUSIC
  • Run Time: 45 minutes
  • ASIN: B003626TL8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,831 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Gene Twilley VINE VOICE on April 23, 2010
Format: Audio CD
I really love this album.

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?
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Format: MP3 Music
I love this album. Catchy hooks, beautiful harmonies, quirky lyrics and a really sweet spirit. There is a loose theme - many of the songs revolve around a shared house and the people in it - you get the feeling of a bunch of artists sharing a cool old house in the country.

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).
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Format: MP3 Music
utterly original with hints of appleseed cast, sufjan stevens, and annuals ... cant stop listening to this record since i got it last week. catchy, highs and lows, banjos, synth, sweeping lyrics. perfect.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I don't usually post reviews of musical recordings on Amazon. Musical taste is just so subjective. After all, lots of folks really like Katy Perry. But in this case, I'll make an exception. And here's why: these guys are fantastic.

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.

Some examples:

(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"

(Broken Horse)
"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.
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This album start to finish is so beautiful. I can listen to this album all the way through with no intention of skipping any songs. It really puts you in a good chill mood. They have a unique fold/electonica sound with great lyrics. I highly recommend this album if you are looking for something to brighten your day. I am really excited for their new album coming out Oct. 9th, 2012!
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got this cd because it was recommended to me. band turned out to be pretty awsome! saw them live and they were just as great! would totally recommend it to others if you're into indie type rock-ish band. similar to death cab for cutie
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