Freelance Whales have stumbled into the extremely fortunate circumstances of having been hyped as the next best thing. Since the release of Weathervane they have been labelled as the Passion Pit of 2010, meaning that they have been positioned to take over the world (or at least make a pretty penny licensing their song to advertise everything from smartphones to cash cards). I don’t know how seriously anyone takes these predictions of the next big thing, but in this case I think the arbiter of hipness needs to get their head checked. For me, Weathervane is that sweetly awkward and thoughtful boy you know you should like but can’t. No matter many Michael Cera cliches try to convince you otherwise, you just can’t muster the sheer force of will to pretend you enjoy his long discourses on the authenticity and superior sound quality of vinyl. We all know him, we’ve all considered him, had a nap-inducing date with him, and moved on. Sure the pieces are all there, he’s smart, funny enough, he has a killer cd collection, and he’s endearingly canadian. And yet, something crucial is missing, that exhilarating unnameable quality is nowhere to be found, so you get bored and move on. If this boy had a theme album (as many of these boys do) it would be Weathervane. The 13-track album has all the necessary parts to top the softer side of the indie-music world, their lyrics are innocently precocious and cynicism-free, they’ve assembled a ragtag collection of featured instruments all the way from banjo to glockenspiel, and the band’s hometown is a stone’s throw from Brooklyn. And yet, there’s something missing. The whole album is a long, foot-dragging exercise in anticipation, and after 13 songs, the climax never shows.
-- Tiare Dunlap
Host, "Girl, Please," Fridays 4-6 on WGTB