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LISTEN TO THIS REVIEW
Litle Mountain - Said The Whale
Buy Litle Mountain


RELEASE INFO

LABEL: Hidden Pony
RELEASE DATE: March 6, 2012
FORMATS: CD/Vinyl/Digital

Band Members

Ben Worcester: Vocals, Guitar
Tyler Bancroft: Vocals, Guitar
Spencer Schoening: Drums
Jaycelyn Brown: Keyboard
Nathan Shaw: Bass

BIOGRAPHY

In the five years since Said The Whale formed, the band's hook-heavy pop-rock sound has propelled them to successes that include a nationally televised documentary, a Juno Award victory, and a seemingly endless series of tours around the globe. In an age of overnight internet sensations, it's a true grassroots success story that has allowed the group — featuring dual frontmen Tyler Bancroft and Ben Worcester, drummer Spencer Schoening, keyboardist Jaycelyn Brown and bassist Nathan Shaw — to take its place among the Canadian indie rock elite.

After uniting in early 2007, the band wasted no time in releasing the EP Taking Abalonia, which was reissued the next year with seven new songs as the debut full-length Howe Sounds/Taking Abalonia. Said the Whale put out the follow-up LP Islands Disappear in 2009, and quickly won over a legion of new followers when the crunchy powerpop hit "Camilo (The Magician)" became one of the most played Canadian songs on Modern Rock Radio in 2010.

Audiences all around the world quickly began to take notice of the fast-rising musicians, who performed at increasingly high-profile gigs including the Vancouver 2010 Olympics and nationally televised Canada Day celebrations on Parliament Hill. In 2011, the band toured in the U.S. and UK and earned international praise from Perez Hilton, Consequence of Sound, We All Want Someone to Shout For, You Ain't No Picasso, and BBC Radio 6. Back home, Said The Whale won a Juno Award for New Group of the Year, and the U.S. tour was chronicled by the CBC documentary Winning America. Following the teaser EP New Brighton, all of the band's efforts have culminated in the new full-length Little Mountain, due out on March 6, 2012. Named after the band's home neighbourhood in Vancouver, the collection was recorded at the city's Blue Wave Productions studio by returning producer Tom Dobrzanski (The Zolas, We Are the City). The producer's experience working on both of the band's previous albums meant that he was able to help the Whales realize their clear vision for the project, which they fine-tuned during an extensive two-month pre-production period. The recordings were then handed to mixer Jack Joseph Puig, a multiple Grammy winner who was selected in part because of his work on Weezer's lauded Pinkerton. What results is Said The Whale's most adventurous effort yet; with juggernaut production values, song suites that explode out of the speakers, and tracks that blend seamlessly into one another, it finds the group defying rock conventions without sacrificing any of their pop smarts. More diverse than previous albums, Little Mountain is a multi-stylistic tour-de-force that ventures into everything from soaring, horn-laden cabaret ("The Reason") to jaggedly syncopated rock ("We Are 1980") and effervescent guitar pop ("Loveless").

As always, singers Bancroft and Worcester retain their unique voices, but their work has never sounded so cohesive; the tracklist was carefully selected for front-to-back listening, and the five-piece's all-inclusive collaborative approach to songwriting helped to forge the bond between noisy electric stompers and intimate acoustic ballads. Tellingly, all five members share equal writing credit.

With the new wave-tinged single "Heavy Ceiling" already making its mark on the Canadian rock/alternative charts and videos for all 15 songs soon to arrive online, Little Mountain is shaping up to be one of the landmark rock albums of 2012. And if the last five years have taught us anything, it's that Said the Whale will continue to win over audiences the old fashioned way: with relentless touring, killer songs, and big-hearted passion.

PRESS QUOTES & ACCOLADES

"Take They Might Be Giants’ vocals and put behind them clever lyrics, excellent pop-rock hooks, and you’ll have Said The Whale." - FENSE POST

“[Heavy Ceiling] is such a catchy song that I don’t recommend listening to it unless you have time to throw it on repeat for at least 30 minutes. I could listen to it over and over.” - THE TUNE

"Purveyors of effervescent pop with a distinctive west coast accent." - CHROMEWAVES

"Said The Whale demonstrate with razor-sharp efficiency that they are not just a band that dreams of far-away landscapes. They are a band that has been there and lived to tell the tales. And they still sound hungry for more." - POPMATTERS

Winner of the New Group of the Year JUNO - Canada's Music Awards

Review

July 18th 2013 By Daniel Robichaud for Vancouver Weekly

It’s hard to believe Said The Whale is only (barely) five years into its existence… It feels like I just heard the uber-catchy “Camilo (The Magician)” on the radio for the first time. It’s now a modern Canadian rock/alternative radio staple.

Said The Whale hearts Vancouver, and vice versa. Considering the extent to which Vancouver unashamedly loves itself, writing songs about loving the said city and the surrounding region is a sure bet. Said The Whale has done that, and they’ve done it well. If the Tragically Hip is Canada’s band, Said The Whale has staked its claim to be BC’s. But with Little Mountain, they’ve broadened their horizons. Not every single song is a gushing ode to Vancouver or the West Coast – a lot of them aren’t, in fact – and that’s a good thing.

While previous releases often seemed to be about how freaking awesome it was to live on the epically beautiful West Coast, Little Mountain speaks (quite literally) of “waving goodbye to Vancouver”, “my city, my lover, my friend” on “Big Wave Goodbye”; hence, how the mountain became little. Beyond “Goodbye”, shout-outs to the group’s beloved stomping ground can still be found here and there – like in their video for “O Alexandra” – but now you get the sense that there’s a world beyond the mountain range. The bittersweet farewell to Vancouver melds into “Jesse, AR” about a guy resetting his life, moving to Edmonton, falling in love, and bringing his baby back to Arkansas, only to vanish once again. They also turn their lens toward Montana in the sentimental and pastoral “Big Sky, MT”, which sounds like its title – huge. The very mention of these new places adds mystery and gives a fresh spin to Said The Whale’s familiar sound. Perhaps this is a result of the group’s first U.S. tour in the spring of 2011. Sure, they stuck to the West Coast on their way to and from their destination, but their destination was Austin’s world-renowned SXSW Music Festival. Such a journey can only result in growth, and this comes through not only in the lyrics of Little Mountain, but the music itself.

Little Mountain is Said The Whale’s most balanced offering yet, from the catchy rock-stomp of “Heavy Ceiling” to the upbeat “Loveless” that contains one of the best lines I’ve heard in a while – “How could I love you less now that I know you more?” It’ll be stuck in my head for a while and I’m okay with that. There’s a lot of searching and finding, arriving and leaving on Little Mountain. Despite some disconcerting lyrics that could easily make one sigh hopelessly – like “We Are 1980” (“Paperless here is a thing of the past / I’m cutting down trees and using up gas”) – the album as a whole emits a distinct positivity and makes for an enjoyable listen. One of the highlights is definitely the fun and humble “Lucky”, which finds the gang singing “We are lucky and we know it / We clap our hands to show it.” And yes, they clap their hands. Reading that, it seems glib, but it really isn’t. You’ll want to clap your hands, too.

If anything, I’d like to hear more of Ben Worcester’s energetic voice, which is at times reminiscent of Ben Folds (the closing “Seasons”) or a young Luke Doucet that hasn’t mellowed out yet, but that’s just me. That said, the album does achieve a good balance between songs featuring Worcester, and those showcasing the poppier, teenaged croon of co-frontman Tyler Bancroft.

It’s clear that Canada, let alone BC, loves Said The Whale – they did win a Juno Award in 2011 for New Group of the Year, after all. That’s not to say the Great White North has been conquered; like any young up-and-coming Canadian outfit, they’re many years away from cementing themselves as household names, but they seem to be on their way. The confidence present on Little Mountain gives the impression that they’re more than ready to cross the border and stick some more flags in our southern neighbour’s ground.

Little Mountain comes out March 6. The band kicks off their tour in Portland this weekend. They’ll be at the Vogue Theatre on May 3, supported by Chains of Love and Oh No! Yoko. Check out www.saidthewhale.com for more info and other cool stuff, including videos for four (and soon to be more) of the fifteen tracks on Little Mountain.






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