I first listened to Said the Whale in 2012, when my then-girlfriend bought me a CD to their album Little Mountain for Christmas, I’d never heard of them before, but they seemed like a decent indie romp after giving the album a spin. The album has nostalgic value for me, but I never ended really up liking it as much as I wanted to like it. There were a few decent songs, but the rest either felt too bland or grew tiresome quickly after their initial allure.
After they dropped off my radar for a while they however caught my attention again when I heard their new single Step into the Darkness, which seemed to swap the over-joyous indie sound for a more mellow, but no less catchy sound.
The albums first four songs capitalise on this sound in the exact way I hoped. However, it starts to falter a bit, at Realize Real Eyes (2pac reference?!) the song is slow, and a bit of a breather, but not exactly interesting. Confidence’s hook is a bit annoying, but has a nice breakdown at the end.
Miscarriage is a slow burner again, but this one is done much more effectively, building into an epic crescendo, then dying, and building up into an electro-fest. We then slide into the peaceful Beautiful Morning. However, Emily Rose, is yet another disappointment, a typical indie folk pop song that wouldn’t be misplaced on literally any of the albums by the big indie folk mainstream artists of today. Thankfully, it ends strong on the catchy Lilac and Willow, with its crunchy guitars.
Apparently more diehard fans aren’t totally into the new revitalised sound, but Said the Whale has recaptured my interest. The album isn’t quite as strong as I hoped it would be after hearing the singles, however, nonetheless, I look forward to seeing the potential of this new sound on whatever comes next by them.
Favourites: Step into the Darkness, More Than Ever, Beautiful Morning
Least: Confidence, Emily Rose