Freelance Whales – Weathervanes (Dew Process/Universal) CD Review

A sporadically fetching fusion of folk, roots and Spectoresque pop, Freelance Whales also infuse their sound with a repetitive simplicity that recalls classical minimalism.

What’s great about this is that they don’t give a fig about “authentic”. Most roots-oriented acts would baulk at the idea of using that heathen instrument, the synthesiser. Not so Freelance Whales, who stir anything into the pot that takes their fancy. This puts them in the “new weird America” aesthetic that we’re already familiar with through Animal Collective and other Pitchfork favourites, although it must be pointed out that Freelance Whales sound nothing like Animal Collective.

The worst thing about Weathervanes is the recording: some of the tracks sound pretty good, with obvious attention paid to stereo separation (another “inauthentic” studio creative) while others have a harsh, thin veneer on the top end that’s a little off-putting. GARY STEEL

Sound = 2.5/5

Music = 3/5

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