Reviewed: Diluvia by Freelance Whales

Released today (10.09.2012) | Mom+Pop/French Kiss

Diluvia, the sophomore album from Queens, NY indie-pop romanticists Freelance Whales is about “the possible survival — or peril — of space-
faring humans and other arguably fantastical scenarios.” With that in mind, it makes sense frontman Judah Dadone (vocals, guitar, banjo, synthesizers) and his fellow Whales Doris Cellar (bass, vocals), Chuck Criss (guitar, synthesizers, vocals), Jacob Hyman (drums, vocals) and Kevin Read (guitar, vocals) would come up with a great big, bold album, replete with cinematic swells, panoramic soundscapes and ethereal choral vocals.

Sprawling is another good adjective when it comes to to describing Diluvia. These Freelancers could have benefitted from some editing; many songs are well over five minutes when they maybe would have packed more emotional punch at three, and the slow-burning DNA Bank, which clocks in at 7:42, loses some of its intensity over the course of its protracted running time.

Still, Freelance Whales know how to create expansive, deeply evocative music that is dramatic and dynamic without resorting to cheesy melodrama — and a cavernous, propulsive rhythm section anchors down even the spaciest of synths. From the atmospheric Aeolus and it’s ghostly vocal loops, to the earthy, crunchy textures of Land Features and the shimmering synth pop of Follow Through, Diluvia’s galaxy is one you’ll want to traverse.

— By Jen Zoratti, music editor at Uptown Magazine, Winnipeg’s alt weekly.

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