Sometimes it takes a while for me to find an album (and sometimes it takes a while for an album to find me...) and this is one of those times.
Weathervanes, the new album by Queens-based [though I've read they now call Williamsburg home] Freelance Whales, was released on the ever-reliable Frenchkiss Records in mid-April, but arrived at UMFM at the end of March. Unfortunately this coincided with my time away from the station while I was on parental leave and a lot of albums fell through the cracks as I was listening to more Sesame Street than Sleigh Bells. Since my return to a full-time post I've been little-by-little going through albums that I missed (while attempting to stay on top of the new ones arriving daily) and that's how I only came across Freelance Whales earlier this week.
I'm just happy I came across it all, let alone 'late' because Weathervanes is a friggin' awesome record. Front to back, top to bottom awesome.
Delicate but not precious, full-sounding but not overly muscular, immediately catchy but not simplistic or disposable; these are the thoughts that come to mind as the songs burrow deeper into my subconscious with each new listen. The instrumentation rewards repeated listens as keyboards and glockenspiels can sometimes be hidden behind the guitar, banjo and drums. Yup, that's right - banjo. Gotta love a pop group that manages to make songs with banjo that don't sound like they belong on the Smithsonian Folkways collection.
Take a listen to album opener "Generator 1st Floor" and tell me you don't love it.
And how can you not love a band that busks on the NYC subway platforms with such aplomb:
Don't forget to check out Freelance Whales' Myspace page and website.
Speaking of their website, the band are offering a free MP3 of "Generator 2nd Floor." Just click on this:
Thanks for reading, now start listening...