Artist to Watch: Freelance Whales

Next time you see a street performer, don't just shrug them off. They might be the next "it" band

It's not everyday you run into famous people, or even people who will be famous in the near future.

One night in Williamsburg, Brooklyn over the summer, my friend and colleague, Caitlin Dewey and I, crossed a group of kids playing music on the corner of Bedford Avenue and 7th street right near the L line. They were hunched together like a herd of circled hippes singing songs to each other. It was enchanting, and I kind of liked them at the time. I even got it on video of them (see below). They called themselves Freelance Whales, and little did I know, however, that these guys are serious breakout artists who got recognition at this year's CMJ festival.

It's funny how things happen sometimes.

Only until now after listening to their MySpace page, am I offically a fan. With an unorthodox array of instruments (banjo, xylophone and accordian), vocally-driven melodies and warm energy, Freelance Whales are an adorable group. When I saw them play on the street corner, I seriously thought they were just a jam band, but their recorded songs offer much more depth. The music is downbeat but uplifting, and has the soul of a laughing child. Their song is reminiscent of classic Death Cab for Cutie, and is simply delightful.


On a side not, I'm getting tired of every indie band these days labeling themselves as "experimental." All music is experimental to an extent. Calling yourself "experimental" doesn't necessarily make you cool. Okay, enough venting.

Check out my short clip of Freelance Whales from over the summer below. Watch for the girl in the glasses who gets in the way of the shot. That's Caitlin.



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