Freelance Whales @ Bowery Ballroom, 6/1/12

On this evening, we had Queens-based Freelance Whales bring their fun, cartoony folk sound to Bowery Ballroom for their first set in close to a year. Brooklyn acts Spanish Prisoners and Lucius, who snuck on the bill late, completed the night and made it a local bands only party.

I wouldn’t have been here tonight if not for Spanish Prisoners. I discovered them a few months ago via the Brain Cave festival at Bell House, a gathering for Brooklyn’s indie rock scene. I fell in love with their moody, dream pop sound, best reflected on their second LP, Gold Fools. Their music translates well live, fostering that same mellowness that makes their music very enjoying to sway to.

Lucius, up second, brought an act close to the polar opposite of the Prisoners; they’ve got a sound that veers into alternative country and soul, on top of a bombastic live act. Lucius is composed of two ladies in black who perform booming vocals in weaving harmonies, and three well dressed men in the back on various instrumentation, giving off a very professional vibe for such a young group. They have a self-titled EP out currently.

Freelance Whales have a real penchant for multi-instrumentation. The most impressive part of their set was seeing them constantly cycling around the tools of the trade, be it banjo, keys, guitars, xylophone, synth or even harmonium. I doubt any two songs featured the same combination of musicians and instruments. Tonight, they debuted a lot of new songs off an untitled new album, in addition to favorites like Hannah off Weathervanes. An impressive set overall, I’ll be looking forward to hearing them again when the new material is available, allegedly in Summer.

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About John Harrison

John Harrison is a music afficionado and web developer in Hoboken, New Jersey.
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