Thursday, July 28, 2011
Banjos and Sunshine
I don't consider myself the trendiest person. I seem to have trend ADD; I just cannot focus enough to grasp or care about them. Sometimes I'm late to them; sometimes I'm in the thick of them; there's just no telling.
I remember hearing about this trendy band called Freelance Whales over a year ago during NPR's coverage of the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, TX. I even downloaded a SXSW sampler including a song by them, but never bothered to listen to it.
A few months ago, Starbucks actually teamed up with Freelance Whales and featured their song "Generator (First Floor)" in a commercial. It made its way onto my iPod and through the beauty of shuffle, it finally made its way to my blessed eardrums just over a month ago.
Freelance Whales is from Queens, NY and formed as all the best bands seem to do nowadays - word of mouth and Craigslist (how else?) and started by filling the subways of their home city with joyous sounds. Their music is fun and littered with bells, whistles, banjos and synthesizers - all things for which I have a weak spot. The band's debut album, Weathervanes, released in 2009 and is 13 songs of joy & fun. The sound smacks of Sufjan Stevens, Owl City, The Postal Service, Noah and the Whale, old Jimmy Eat World and even a little Arcade Fire. Although eclectic, the sound is well-balanced and beautiful.
It's hard to keep your feet or the corners of your mouth down when listening to this collective of free spirits; so if you're in a mood to wallow in your self-pity, this would not be a good choice. But if you're ready to walk down the street accompanied by an infectious hook, banjo and sunshine, these are your kids.
Standout songs: Generator (First Floor)
We Could Be Friends
Generator (Second Floor)
Photo from jellynyc.com; you can hear a good interview with Freelance Whales from them here.