Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Album Review - Said the Whale - Howe Sounds/Taking Abalonia

My exposure to Said the Whale happened about 2 years ago on the beautiful website known as CBC Radio 3. I listened intently as their music seemed to capture my attention and interest like few had done before. It was not long until I went to one of their shows and bought myself both of their records, Islands Disappear and Howe Sounds/Taking Abalonia. After listening to these albums I was sold. Almost as sold as Dan Mangan. Every song was a unique and beautiful experience.

Said the Whale have recently come off a Juno victory for New Group of the Year. After that impressive victory they headed off to play some shows in Europe, living it up, and tweeting about it as they traveled across the beautiful countryside in the United Kingdom. I am sure all of Said the Whale's followers and friends are looking forward to a new release, but as for now, I'll let you know what to expect on their original album - Howe Sounds/Taking Abalonia.

The first thing that you will notice on this two album sandwich is the repetitive chants. Opening up with This Cities a Mess the anthemic themes play right on through the album, eventually ending off with the wonderful, melodic chant that is Taking Abalonia.

Amongst this 15 track record you will find a whole lot more than chanting, while the majority of these tunes are upbeat, Said the Whale takes a unique approach to their slow tunes. A fan favourite, Curse of the Currents, was played live with simply an unplugged acoustic guitar, and this very mellowed out approach carries through on the album as well. Other tunes such as the Real of It take on a special uniqueness as they are played acoustically, but on everyones favourite instrument, the ukelele!

One of the reoccurring factors that keeps me running back to Said the Whale is the references to beautiful British Columbia. I consider myself a mountaineer living on the prairies and each time Said the Whale fills my brain waves I picture myself back in Victoria, looking over the city and the ocean from the top of Mount Douglas. But I can assure you, it doesn't take a love for the West Coast of Canada to fall in love with this marvellous group, simply a love of good music will suffice.

As you know, I am a very strong supporter of Bandcamp, so here is Said the Whale's Bandcamp page. The album featured here is their most recent release: Islands Disappear. Take a listen, love it, buy it and then see them live!

Followed is a link to Said the Whale's website. Be sure to look for free EP downloads around Christmas time!


Love and Peace, or else.

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