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Exclusive Q and A: Freelance Whales Talk Floods, Cities, And Outer Space

Sure, there are hundreds of bands in New York, but how many of them do full-group live busking performances on subway platforms? Since their string of live street performances in New York, Freelance Whales have climbed their way to the top of the indie rock heap. Songs from their acclaimed first album Weathervanes have appeared in ads for Chevy and Twitter as well as on shows like One Tree Hill and Skins. As the band geared up to drop their follow-up record, Diluvia, which hits stores today, we chatted with Chuck Criss about recording in a rural space, the band’s pre-order pocket planetarium, and the end of the world.

OS: You guys supposedly rented a house in upstate New York to write material for Diluvia. What was it like to work in that environment?

CC: It was amazing. The city has so many distractions, both good and bad.  It was nice to go somewhere isolated with no Internet or cell service. We would just buy groceries for the week, wake up in the morning and write music. The only breaks we would take were to cook food.  I think it really helped us focus. Continue reading ‘Exclusive Q and A: Freelance Whales Talk Floods, Cities, And Outer Space’

Coachella 2011: Be Sure To Read The Fine Print

Coachella is just days away, and the big name acts on the festival’s lineup flier have fans dancing in anticipation. A GRAMMY winner (Arcade Fire), rock and roll royalty (Kings of Leon), arguably hip hop’s most talked about act of the year (Kanye West) and a reunited fan favorite (The Strokes) will certainly make for a stellar headline, but don’t forget to check out the fine print for smaller acts that are sure to pack just as much punch.

Trampled by Turtles
Can’t seem to shake your love of Mumford & Sons? Trampled by Turtles adds bass, guitar and mandolin to banjo and fiddle for a rounded-out, bluegrass sound. Vocals don’t quite match Marcus Mumford’s euphoric twang but we forgive them.

Freelance Whales
If you find yourself tapping your foot to that new Starbucks commercial, don’t miss Freelance Whales. Starbucks borrowed their track “Generator ^ First Floor” for the inspirational albeit slightly corny plug.

Titus Andronicus
Speed things up with the defiant New Jersey punk band. Just don’t confuse them with The Gaslight Anthem.

Phantogram
Phantogram samples hip hop influences with frothy electronic rock for a totally fresh sound just in time for summer.

The Joy Formidable
Perhaps one of the most anticipated acts on the indie scene, they serve up uncompromising, unapologizing rock.

City and Colour
Gearing up for a third studio album, the Canadian singer/songwriter crafts soul-sweeping songs that are delicate and deep.

fun.
The name doesn’t lie. Formerly of Format, Nate Ruess serves pop-synth songs with a theatrical element, think Queen of the future.

Marina and the Diamonds
Another indie darling, Marina and the Diamonds has paired with hip hop acts like Hoodie Allen—check out “Your Are Not A Robot”— and could be compared to female voices from Britney Spears to Florence + the Machine. Not to mention she’s smokin’.

Two Door Cinema Club
Don’t hate us for saying we were listening to this Irish rock band way back when. Influenced by everything from electronica, afro-beats, pop and rock, you’ll be dancing the whole set.

Here We Go Magic
Songs with self described melodies that can turn from “gorgeous to challenging to a little scary and back again.” Learn more right on their OurStage profile.

SXSW: Day Four

The final day of SXSW came much too quickly.  After three days filled with music, fun and BBQ, Austin really picked up for one last day.  The afternoon was filled with parties and outdoor shows, despite the frigid weather.  Rachael Ray threw her annual party at Stubb’s, complete with a fairly decent lineup.

The highlights of the party at Stubb’s were She & Him, Andrew WK, Justin Townes Earle and OurStage acts Shayna Zaid and The Catch, The Orion Experience and Lawrence Arabia.  Larger acts played on the stages outside while Daytrotter recorded sessions inside.  Some of the lucky Daytrotter recorded bands were She & Him, Fang Island, Freelance Whales and Lawrence Arabia.  Singer-songwriter Arabia, formally of The Reduction Agents, the Brunettes and the Ruby Sun, was enchanting as he sang songs off his self titled debut and Chant Darling. Fresh off tours with Feist and Okkervil River, Arabia was quite charming and soulful.

Continue reading ‘SXSW: Day Four’

Tour De Force: Freelance Whales

Freelance Whales have made a name for themselves as a band “Busking to the Big Time.” However, this is not your average busking band. True — they can often be seen playing on street corners and in subway stations around hipster’s paradise (a.k.a Williamsburg), but they also get pretty creative. They’ve been spotted playing in dark abandoned warehouses, roof-tops,  “culturally significant Williamsburg house parties”, and other various nooks and crannies around Brooklyn, NY. Their unconventional methods and somewhat unusual sound caught the attention of many leading voices in the media. They’ve been featured artists on NPR’s World Café and Stereogum.com, taken the blogosphere by storm on respected pages such as Brooklyn Vegan and HearYa and recently nabbed a spot on Grey’s Anatomy — which some may hate to admit is a band’s one way ticket to indie fame and fortune.
Continue reading ‘Tour De Force: Freelance Whales’

 


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