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The Whitsundays

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Album Review

Two-fifths of Edmonton, Alberta's Whitsundays are also the rhythm section of the LCD Soundsystem-like electro-dance group Shout Out Out Out Out, a crossover notable mostly because the two bands have almost nothing in common otherwise. Named, somewhat inexplicably, after a chain of islands along Australia's Great Barrier Reef, the Whitsundays belong alongside modern-day pillagers of vintage pop like the Shins or Belle & Sebastian. On first listen, a rather annoying production choice — singer/songwriter Paul Arnusch's vocals are bathed in echoey reverb on nearly every song — nearly overwhelms the charms of the songs themselves. Listening past that, it's clear where Arnusch's influences lie — the intimate, whispery vocals and splashy electric piano solos of "Falling Over" and "The Ways of the Sweet Talking Boys" are straight out of the Zombies playbook, and the vocal arrangement of the knowingly self-abasing "It Must Be Me" is 100 percent Pet Sounds pastiche, right down to the choral-round coda — but interestingly, the further the Whitsundays move from that sound, the less interesting the songs get. "Antisocial," for example, is an unconvincing stab at a punky garage rocker, which is immediately topped by the far superior "Sorry James," a minor-key character study in alienation set against an ironically upbeat and jaunty bassline. The Whitsundays is an unapologetically derivative record, but the way that it doesn't pretend to be anything more than a modern indie rock recasting of some of Arnusch's favorite old records makes it hard to fault: as mildly plagiaristic pop records go, this one's really quite good.

Customer Reviews

relaxing alternative

I thought that this album was very relaxing. Most of the songs are soothing, kind of like Death Cab though a different sound. Whitsunday has a very alternative sound that I personally like, though it may not be for everyone. I liked this album and hope they will come out with more!


awesome and original music


The whitsundays clearly have it right. Their sound is unique, albiet Spoon-ish, and their songs always go down


Formed: Edmonton, Edmonton, Alberta, Cana

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Edmonton, Alberta's the Whitsundays embrace a sound that takes several pages from the book of '60s sunshine pop and light psychedelia while also referencing contemporary indie pop. The Whitsundays' membership nods to the group's eclectic approach -- lead singer and principle songwriter Paul Arnusch is also a member of acclaimed dream pop combo the Faunts and post-punk revivalists the Floor, while bassist Lyle Bell and drummer Clint Frazier divide their time between the Whitsundays and frenetic electronic...
Full Bio
The Whitsundays, The Whitsundays
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Customer Ratings