Trying to label the Freelance Whales is a bit like a kindergartener trying to pin the tail on the donkey; they always end up sticking the teacher instead.
Hailing from Queens, and assembled via Craigslist, the Freelance Whales have been compared to Arcade Fire for their notorious instrument switching and chorale of band members. Each Whale is well versed in a variety of odd instruments, (harmonium, anyone?) and the pauses between songs during their show at The Loft weren’t met with witty banter, but rearranging the ratio of band member to instrument(s).
If you’re unfamiliar with the Whales-for-hire; think, The Postal Service, for their airy vocals and youthful love songs; and hailing from the borough next door, Matt & Kim, for their brightly patterned tracks.
See them live for a low-key night of drinking and good times with indie-loving friends. They aren’t the best vocalists (long-held notes turned to careless raspy spurts of sound), but damn their catchy lyrics and passion for what they do. They sound how Lite-Brite looks.
Hear their recorded stuff if you’re having a rave in your basement. Or if you’re in a really, really good dance-by-yourself-Cameron-Diaz-in-Charlie’s-Angels-style kind of mood.
Listen to this: “Hannah,” from 2010 debut album Weathervanes. Bright lyrics reference childhood fun we can all relate to. “Every now and then she offers me/ A lemon Now and Later,” sings frontman Judah Dadone.
It’s the time of year for bright, happy music. Put Sarah McLachlan down and pick up the Freelance Whales.
Author’s aside: If you’ve never been to The Loft, start patrolling their calendar for your favorite artists so you can a) stand right next to the stage and b) enjoy the stunning view of Downtown Dallas from the large windows that surround the venue.
Laura Stillo is the Arts & Entertainment Writer and Creative Social Media Producer for YouPlusDallas. Follow her on Twitter at @laurastillo.