By Shayna D’Arezzo
Said The Whale, an indie folk-rock band who stems from Vancouver, BC, has come out with their latest album, Little Mountain. I’ve always found that bands from Canada seem to have an immense amount of pride from being Canadian, and Said The Whale is no different – they want it to be known where they come from. However, the band seems to be moving on from that chapter in their life, and it shows in their latest album. Said The Whale has a great ability to tell stories through their music, and the album is filled with songs of love- of looking for it and of having it- and of moving on to new places. One of the first few songs we hear, “Big Sky, MT”, is a story about a grandfather who would do anything for his true love. “For true love, you do the best that you can and she will always be there when you wake up.” Most of the songs on this album have lyrics that have a lot of meaning to them that will have you listening over and over.
The lyrics are not the only memorable part of Said The Whale’s new album. The interweaving vocal harmony and catchy beats are delightful to listen to. The vocals are cohesive and clean, and kudos to STW’s keyboardist, Jaycelyn Brown, for giving most songs on this album an even more fantastically awesome feel to them. The lively harmonica and trumpet playing is also worth mention because it gives a real light-hearted feeling to the songs in which they are featured.
With a 15-album track, Said The Whale is bound to experiment a bit with their music. And they do, and most songs on Little Mountain are memorable and catchy and will most likely stick in your head for a while – at least they did for me. A great example is the song “2010,” which sounds a lot like The Shins. “Jesse, AR,” also has a good hook and a perfect mixture of instruments and a nice harmony of voices mixed together at the same time. However, some songs feel a little out of place when you listen to the album as a whole. “Guilty Hypocrite” sounds like a loud, weird, drone of music that luckily plays only for about a minute, which was about as long as I could have listened. “Lover/Friend” is also a little different than most of the songs on Little Mountain. It’s a very low-key, acoustic-driven song with a dreamy feel to it. It just doesn’t seem to really quite fit in. But there are plenty of other songs that have a “pop” feel to them that just about anyone could get into.
Overall, Little Mountain is definitely a great album. I like that Said The Whale tried to mix up their style a little bit; it shows that they’re trying to expand and grow as a band – and it’s working. It’s evident in this album that they’re quickly becoming more than just an indie band from Vancouver. Keep your eye out for them in the near future – especially to watch the music videos that will be produced for every song on Little Mountain. Yes, all 15 of them.