Freelance Whales are barely celebrating a year together, having formed in Queens, NYC late 2008, and already they are featuring on any decent ones-to-watch list (we’re obsessed with lists these days, it’s all very Nick Hornby).
The reason behind their championing is that in their short career these New Yorkers have crafted a batch of straight-up, infectious and arresting tunes. Now based in Williamsburg, Brooklyn the quintet mix pop, folk and electronics, that is thankfully not the generic ‘folktronica’ drivel of many of their neighbours or worse ‘neo-folk’. Instead they make heart-on-sleeve indie-pop as played on folk instruments (guitars, banjos, tambourines, harmonium, and glockenspiels) flavoured with glitchy IDM beats, layered vocals, and keyboards; which is of course completely different.
-Generator ^ First Floor’ and -Generator ^ Second Floor’ first surfaced in August of this year; contrasting singles that express tinkering instrumentation, group chants and baroque-pop arrangements. Delightful stuff and also an exciting indicator as to what these new kids on the block are capable of. Their debut album Weathervanes is now available on iTunes or Frenchkiss Records and would make a perfect Crimbo stocking filler.