Key Tracks: “I Love You,” “Mother”
For the most part, Said the Whale is a fun indie band, not setting their sights on doing anything revolutionary or changing music at all. Their single “I Love You” is one of my favorite songs of the year, because it’s a bouncy little number with some oomph that gets stuck in your head. It’s nothing more than that, yet it’s great because of it. “I Love You” has more energy than most of the rest of the album, but it all still acts as a fun little reprieve from life.
Musically, the band keeps it simple. Most of the songs are quick and upbeat, not overstaying their welcome while staying different from each other. Think Two Door Cinema Club’s first album. Unfortunately, there’s something kind of inherently forgettable about music like this. The lack of complexity makes it fun, but doesn’t necessarily make a stand-out.
Vocally, the singer almost sounds like he’s emulating Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig at times. The vocals are clear and the lyrics are often honest and entertaining. The production is crisp, but allows for a little distortion when it’s needed. And the album is over nearly as soon as it starts, probably a good quality for a fun listen like this one. It stops before it gets too repetitive.
With a band resembling Two Door Cinema Club and a singer resembling Ezra Koenig, it’s pretty certain that their album is going to be a decent one. “hawaiii” isn’t anything special, but it’s a good listen, and a nice break from complex indie bands. Chances are, fans picking up this album know exactly what they’re looking for, and won’t be disappointed.
If you like this, try: 2005’s “With Love and Squalor,” or really any album by We Are Scientists. Another fun, catchy but not totally forgettable indie band.
-By Andrew McNally