Freelance Whales returned to Chicago last night for a sold out show at Lincoln Hall that magnified their sound to immeasurable heights. The indie band from Queens, New York, are currently on tour supporting their latest effort, Diluvia, released in October on Frenchkiss Records.
Since their debut in 2008, the band has often been described as dreamy, chamber pop, which is hard to argue with since lead singer, Judah Dadone's instrument of choice is a banjo. On any given song, you can find the band using glockenspiels, mandolins and xylophones to create layers and waves of sound.
But don't overlook the electronic element of this band. Some of their strongest songs have synthesizers and effects that can get stuck in your head for days.
Opening with Aeolus, the focus was front and center on Judah's ethereal voice and soaring harmonies. Land Features followed with a burst of instruments and frenzy that makes it easy to agree with the flattering comparison to Arcade Fire.
The ebb and flow continued with standout track, Follow Through, as the sparkling synth faded and the lyrics, Two Words/I never thought they'd be the ones I'd choose/and I'll always follow through, rang clear as a bell. Not to be outdone, Dig Into Waves, became hypnotic as single notes seemed to build the song from thin air.
The blips and beeps of Hannah created an immediate shuffle on the floor, with most, if not all, of the audience singing along. Locked Out gave them a chance to expand what is already a brilliant song. The extended outro, complete with horns, teased at what may be up next for this talented band. By the time Starring started, the band had already exceeded expectations and the fans couldn't have asked for more. Well, actually, I would have liked to hear Ghosting, but now I'm just being picky...
The tour continues tonight in Columbus, Ohio, and runs through January. Go see this band and support live music!
2. Land Features
3. Generator ^ 2nd Floor
4. Follow Through
5. Spitting Image
6. Generator ^ 1st Floor
7. Dig Into Waves
10. The Great Estates
11. Locked Out
12. DNA Bank
13. Broken Horse