calendar picks 3Music

Freelance Whales

Freelance Whales, a dream-pop quintet from Queens, NY, is the latest band to test this writer’s resolve regarding abstaining from water metaphors when describing aquatically named bands. They’re useless here! Still, they’re often really hard to avoid. So, here goes.

The band, whose music is often compared to that of Sufjan Stevens for its contemplative yet complex arrangements, released its latest record, Diluvia, in October. The album’s cover art features a cheerful drawing of a compact little ark floating into the sunset over a submerged city. Many of the tracks therein have a watery, sonar-like sound, and drummer Jacob Hyman’s rhythms move slowly and deliberately, as if through knee-deep surf.

The album itself is incredibly cheerful, although it doesn’t come with an expectation that the listener rise to the same level of joy. “Satisfied with the way the world is turning” will do. Concise, electronic riffs accompany unabashed chorus-singing and M83-style synths, yet the arrangements never feel too heavy.

Indeed, one of the freshest aspects of Freelance Whales is that the music doesn’t force the listener to feel what the band feels. A pleasantly removed feeling inhabits the group’s music, a consideration that acknowledges the listener’s individuality and also allows objectivity. (Perhaps this is due to frontman Judah Dadone’s tendency to write songs based on his dream journals.)

For the listener, specific understanding may not really be in the cards, but an interesting interpretation almost certainly is.


  • CANCELED: Star-Spangled Classic

    Photo Credit: flickr user popofatticus UPDATE: This event has been canceled due to weather concerns. For a relatively small town, Athens’ parks and recreation department provides the city with...
  • AthFest Artist Market Winners

    The AthFest Artist Market features over 50 artists this year, including artists of media such as woodworking, painting, ceramics and soap-making. The first place prize of $500 was awarded...
  • Seat in the Shade

    Judith Ortiz Cofer The presence of The Georgia Review and the town’s general population of wordsmiths young and old make the poetry scene in Athens a thriving niche full...
  • Xtra Colours: Evasion

    Evasion is the first EP from Xtra Colours, made up of local chameleon Keith Beaver, whose various projects have explored Americana, echoing, quiet grunge and now contemplative electronica. Beaver’s...