REVIEW: Said the Whale – Little Mountain

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Artist: Said the Whale
Album: Little Mountain
Genre: Indie-pop/Folk-pop
Label: Hidden Pony Records

With it being early March, Winter’s bitter chill is still hanging around outside the bars, record stores and along the city streets. Fortunately, Said the Whale, the indie-pop Canadian five-piece, have come bearing a cure for these dark days and seasonal affective disorder. Their third release, Little Mountain, is jangly collection of bright, warm indie-pop. The ambitious fifteen tracks are flavored with interwoven vocal harmonies, brass horns, electronic flourishes and some static distortion, all of which give the album a Shins-esque flavor.

Despite having a run time of close to fifty minutes, Little Mountain avoids becoming stale or boring. Each of the album’s fifteen tracks have a distinct sound all their own. “Big Wave Goodbye” highlights Said the Whale’s ability to blend together various instrumentations and sounds. The first half has a strong folk-pop feel, with faint, fuzzy synth notes held in the background, acoustic flourishes and twangy vocals between Ben Worcester and Tyler Bancroft. The track quickly dissolves into bright horns, bold trombone flourishes and shimmering tambourine.  “Safe Harbour” is one of the album’s shortest tracks, but it lacks in length it more than makes up for in its emotive presence. Sharp, muted drums-like the sea’s heartbeat-softly beat in the background while Worcester hauntingly sings/chants about a midnight voyage. This individualism that Said the Whale are able to achieve on each of the tracks on Little Mountain, creates an enjoyable ebb and flow to the album.

Little Mountain is a mammoth album, packed to the seams with a cacophony of swelling hooks and the rich intermixtures of Said the Whale’s eclectic, miniature orchestra. The real charm, joy of Little Mountain is how skillfully Said the Whale was able to make their lengthy and enthusiastic album, an intimate experience.

Score: 8/10
Review written by: Ethan Merrick

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