16 Songs, 52 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The quirky pop of Vancouver’s Said the Whale is charming, smart, and addictive. Organ arpeggios, uplifting choruses, sparkling guitars, and arrangements that tumble and cartwheel are driven by vocalist Tyler Bancroft and his earnest, slightly scruffy delivery. Bancroft’s musings on everything from childhood to techno-lust and romantic missteps are passionate and wry, showing a songwriter in top form. It’s no surprise that Said the Whale won Canada’s top music prize—a Juno Award—in 2011 for Best New Group; it distills all the good bits found in bands like Spoon, Vampire Weekend, and The Shins. The songs on Little Mountain sway and swing (“The Reason,” “O Alexandra”), twinkle and tip-toe (“Big Wave Goodbye,” “Seasons”), and swagger with surefooted strides (“2010,” “Big Sky, MT,” “Safe Harbour”). They tug at heartstrings with gentle, raw folk (“Lover/Friend,” the beautiful bonus track “A Lesson in Crime”) and kick up a little dust with bursts of keyboards and glistening pop guitars (“We Are 1980,” “Lucky”). Two tracks with surprise traces of new wave hookiness—“Heavy Ceiling” and “Loveless”—are among the jewels in this gorgeous collection.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The quirky pop of Vancouver’s Said the Whale is charming, smart, and addictive. Organ arpeggios, uplifting choruses, sparkling guitars, and arrangements that tumble and cartwheel are driven by vocalist Tyler Bancroft and his earnest, slightly scruffy delivery. Bancroft’s musings on everything from childhood to techno-lust and romantic missteps are passionate and wry, showing a songwriter in top form. It’s no surprise that Said the Whale won Canada’s top music prize—a Juno Award—in 2011 for Best New Group; it distills all the good bits found in bands like Spoon, Vampire Weekend, and The Shins. The songs on Little Mountain sway and swing (“The Reason,” “O Alexandra”), twinkle and tip-toe (“Big Wave Goodbye,” “Seasons”), and swagger with surefooted strides (“2010,” “Big Sky, MT,” “Safe Harbour”). They tug at heartstrings with gentle, raw folk (“Lover/Friend,” the beautiful bonus track “A Lesson in Crime”) and kick up a little dust with bursts of keyboards and glistening pop guitars (“We Are 1980,” “Lucky”). Two tracks with surprise traces of new wave hookiness—“Heavy Ceiling” and “Loveless”—are among the jewels in this gorgeous collection.

TITLE TIME
3:12
5:06
3:14
3:39
2:37
4:35
4:10
2:31
0:50
3:38
3:08
4:33
1:40
3:37
2:23
16 3:39

About Said The Whale

An indie rock outfit based in Vancouver, Said the Whale was formed by Ben Worcester and Tyler Bancroft. Former members of such bands as My Buddy Dave, the Millionaires, and WordsOverMusic, the two soon expanded the group's membership to five, adding Jeff LaForge (bass), Spencer Schoening (drums), and Jaycelyn Brown (keyboards). After stabilizing the roster, the band quickly got to work on EP projects, two of which would see release as free online downloads. Their first album, Taking Abalonia, was released in 2007. Canada got another look at the full-length a year later with bonus tracks added (under the new title Howe Sounds/Taking Abalonia). Islands Disappear arrived in 2009, and in 2011 Said the Whale took home the prize for New Group of the Year at the 2011 Juno Awards. After replacing Jeff LaForge with Nathan Shaw, the band released its third studio album, Little Mountain, in 2012, followed by Hawaiii in 2013. Both of those albums landed in the Top 20 of the Canadian albums chart. Down to the trio of Worcester, Bancroft, and Brown, they returned in the spring of 2017 with their fifth long-player, As Long as Your Eyes Are Wide. ~ Chris True

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