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Freelance Whales live show a sonic spectacle of goodness

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Freelance Whales

After several weeks of listening to the Freelance Whales debut album “Weathervanes,” I was hooked, but had to eject the CD on occasion to make sure I wasn’t listening to Death Cab for Cutie or The Postal Service.

The indie underground group out of Queens seemed to have harnessed the soul of Ben Gibbard and perfected its essence in their own music stylings.

Having gone to school with the Freelance Whales’ drummer Jake Hyman in London, my brother got us into a recent show in Denver as the group, which just formed in late 2008, is trekking across the country in support of their new LP.

After seeing the band live my opinion of their music has changed quite dramatically. While the comparisons between their music and Death Cab’s is undeniable, their unfettered child-like exuberance on stage added new depth and meaning to their music.

The five member group delved into an extensive set where they each played so many instruments in so many different manners that I couldn’t keep track of who was playing what.

Instruments, in addition to the conventional guitars, I noted were: synthesizers, banjo, tambourine, harmonium and a garden watering can.

Aside from the fact that the band members are all around adept musicians, the lyrical styling of lead singer Judah Dadone is sublime.

On Broken Horse Dadone’s hauntingly sings “that curve in your spine a question mark a doctor sign was framed by the windowsill and you saw something I did not end that night you saw something I did not end that night.”

Watching FW live adds a degree of depth to the music inaccessible just by listening to the album alone. There is much more to this young group than meets the ears. I don’t expect them to still be unsigned next time they come through Denver.

Sputnik Music gives the album a 4.0 (excellent) rating writing:

“Freelance Whales’ Weathervanes is the creation of an unknown band that deserves to be heard and possibly accessed with the most promising of 2009’s music.”

Sterogum dubbed them a band to watch last month writing:

“Turns out FW are way out of step with the dominant trend of ’09, and more in line with what the non-Gang Of Four appropriating wing of indie music was fixated on a few years ago”


Written by David Young

November 30, 2009 at 4:28 pm

Posted in Concerts, Music

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