Canada is very big right now. Despite the fact that their Winter Olympics lacked snow, and their women’s curling team choked in the gold medal game, they got a ton of positive international exposure. My guess is that British Columbia will have a bunch of new folks coming to visit in the next few months, and hopefully they’ll take the opportunity to check out the local music. One of the bands they should really see is Vancouver-based quintet Said the Whale.
They haven’t been around that long, but Said the Whale has made the most of their few years. Since forming in 2007 they’ve released two full-length albums and six EPs. Any way you slice it that’s a prolific run. It could kind of by forgiven if, while writing so many songs so quickly, there were a few clunkers in the mix. If not every song was up to the same standard. If, as so often happens these days, the albums consisted of two good songs and a bunch of filler. But they don’t. They’re good from top to bottom. Which makes it all the more remarkable.
This level of prolificity probably wouldn’t be possible if the band didn’t have two strong songwriters. Ben Worcester and Tyler Bancroft joined forces three years ago, and have added and removed band members over the years. Together they’ve written songs that cross genres and resist classification, ranging from bubblegum to rock, with the occasional ukulele ballad thrown in for good measure. It’s all good, and most of it is difficult to pin down, which keeps things interesting.
The band’s most recent album is Islands Disappear, released last year:
The lead single from Islands Disappear sure has a catchy chorus. For some reason it reminds me of something Hall and Oates would have written. And I actually mean that as a compliment.
“Out on the Shield”
“The Light is You”
“This City’s a Mess”