There’s always something special about going to see a band whose first album is just about to be released in conjunction with a label. They seem all shiny and exciting, even if they’ve been playing together for a couple years now. They know a really important event is on the horizon and so the shows tend to be filled with frantic expectation and happiness.
Freelance Whales emerged as one of the stars of New York’s CMJ Festival last fall. Their debut LP Weathervanes will be re-released on Frenchkiss and Mom + Pop this upcoming March (the 16th to be exact) and I had the pleasure of catching them last night at Mercury Lounge.
Full disclosure, I’m already a fan and they’re fast-becoming a favorite because they are so… adorable! (Especially lead singer Judah Dadone. I like his glasses.) Last night as I watched them on stage that description kept popping into my mind. But I thought to myself, “Can you really describe a band as “adorable”? That could easily be taken as an insult.” I assure you, in everyway, it’s meant to be complimentary. Although the lyrics contain running themes of love and loss, the peculiar balance of friendship vs. romance and even everyone’s inevitable demise, the seriousness is off-set by the energy of the band. They have a truly whimsical, playful side; often showcased by incorporating the glockenspiel (highly under-used instrument) into every song. Not to mention banging on the watering cans attached to their equipment and Doris Cellar rocking the harmonium.
The set started off with song “Generator^1st Floor” leading into my personal favorite “Hannah,” then capped off with the fabulous “The Great Estates.” The group returned to the stage for encore “Generator^2nd Floor.” All of which you can hear over on the band’s MySpace page.