Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Each and every Friday we offer songs by local artists. Today’s selection, featured on the Morning Show with John Richards, is “Generator ^ Second Floor” by Freelance Whales from the 2009 self-released album Weathervanes, soon to be re-released on Mom + Pop Records in conjunction with Frenchkiss.
Awash with harmonium, banjo, and glockenspiel, Freelance Whales’ music is surely something that will pick you up even on the most dreary Seattle winter day and, given the weather lately, that’s just what everybody needs. On their self-released debut album, Weathervanes, Freelance Whales have perfected the blend of folk and bedroom pop to create a real gem full of poignant turns of phrase, comforting ballads, and an uplifting sound that makes it so you can’t help but smile through your scarf.
On the track “Generator ^ Second Floor,” the group channels the now-defunct Page France but replaces the papery vocals with a singer that has a near pop-punk sound without ever going into the nasal territory we’ve all grown to disdain. As the song clips along with the constant cadence of hand claps mixed into the background, you start to realize that everyone in this band plays a pivotal role in shaping the sound of the song if not with their instrument (of which there are numerous) then with the all-inclusive vocal harmonies that punctuate every verse.
Look for Weathervanes to be re-released this spring on Mom and Pop Records/Frenchkiss, and if you’re on the East Coast look for the group to swing by your town in January. The band currently has tour dates scheduled for Cleveland, Chicago, Boston, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, as well as a few other dates, so be sure to hit up their Myspace page for tour updates and information. For now, here’s a beautiful sounding acoustic version of “Broken Horse,” recorded at Staten Island’s Farm Colony earlier this year: