(Artwork care of Karen Ramsay (www.karenramsay.com), profile photo care of brianlackeyphotography.com)

Monday, March 1, 2010

CD review - Freelance Whales, Weathervanes (2010)

Weathervanes exudes a sense of sparkly light. Freelance Whales fuse acoustic instruments like banjo and harmonium with synth washes and glimmers of glockenspiel bells. The vocals are playful and upbeat, albeit a little distant and sometimes dissociated from the lyrical message. The harmonies are intricate and layered. This is poppy indie folk at its finest.

Hannah is centered on a fast flowing vocal that's almost a folk-rap. It fits together like puzzle box, satisfying and interesting. It builds in complexity and even develops a bit of Beatlesque floating groove at the very end.

Broken Horse starts out sounding like the Barenaked Ladies, with a bouncy acoustic guitar rhythm that can't quite shake off a dreamy drowse. But about halfway through, as the background vocals grow, it slides more into a Kate Bush space. The build of rolling repetition creates a relentless wave feel.

Weathervanes is due out on CD in the next month or so from Frenchkss Records, but you can download it now. White tea with local alfalfa honey would be a good match.

Also, Freelance Whales are on tour right now. They'll be appearing in Denver on April 1, with Cymbals Eat Guitars. Maybe I'll see you at that show...

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