A few weeks ago CMJ overtook New York City in one big clusterfuck. My strategy was basically to duck and cover, try to grab a few bands when I could, and get the heck out of the way. (This was after getting turned away at the door of the first Atlas Sound set. Although, I did make the second one.) But now I am desperately regretting this plan, because I missed seeing The Freelance Whales out of sheer ignorance and stupidity.
This group has emerged as one of the true stars of CMJ and while I tend to be weary of over-hyped potential hipsters, they deserve all the praise that is currently raining down. (Also, they are NOT from Brooklyn but from Queens, which we all know is the best borough. Mostly cause it’s the one I inhabit.) How would I describe their sound? It’s pretty much happiness intertwined with a sprinkling of glockenspiel.
While the quintet features amazingly catchy hooks, they manage to steer clear of the typical generic pop-song by richly layering their tunes with a whole variety of instruments; anything from banjo to cello to the aforementioned mallet instrument. Even waterphone!
Listen. Enjoy. Impress your friends with this recommendation.