Said The Whale – “Hawaiii”

“[Said The Whale] is poised to have hawaiii become their biggest release yet.” -PW

Peterson Worrell

out of 10

Said The Whale
September 17, 2013
Hidden Pony Records

Vancouver quintet, Said The Whale, is quickly rising the ranks of Canada’s pop charts, and for good reason. The indie-pop powerhouse have been pumping out their signature super catchy, hook heavy brand of music since 2007 and after a string of successful EPs, three full length albums, and a JUNO award in 2011 for New Group of the Year, the band is ready to release hawaiii (no that’s no spelling mistake, the three i’s are intentional!), which looks to be some of the band’s best work to date. Backed by a strong work ethic as shown by their relentless tour schedule, the band is poised to have hawaiii become their biggest release yet.

hawaiii opens with the deceptively mellow track “More Than This.” The track relies heavily on vocal harmonies and keys to create a strong opening ballad. While the track certainly is good, it reflects a subdued energy that will only come up a handful of times on the album.

The band then transitions to “Mother,” one of the best tracks on the album. “Mother” reflects a style that will become a mainstay on the rest of the album. The band expertly blends driving guitar riffs with vocal harmonies and keys to create a super infectious, indie-pop anthem. This style continues to resonate through the next track, “Narrows.” The band then moves onto “I Love You,” another one of my favorite tracks of the album. While the indie influence is certainly apparent, the band uses a more aggressive blend of instrumentation on the track which boarders more on rock or power-pop while still maintaining the bands signature poppy choruses.

Afterwards, the band transitions back to a mellow vibe with “Safe to Say,” which serves as a nice change of pace after the previous two energetic tracks. The band then takes an unexpected turn, showcasing a synth and harmony heavy style on the track “Resolutions.” While “Resolutions” is certainly an odd addition to the album, it is certainly one of my favorite tracks on the album.

The rest of the album continues on much in the same vein of the first few tracks of the album, showcasing the bands ability to weave memorable lyrics on top of well-crafted blends of guitars and keys to produce strong tracks all around with stand outs like “Oh K, Okay.” The album closes with “The Weight of the Season,” an interesting closing song given that it is almost solemn in nature, but a strong closer all the same.

If I haven’t sold you on how good this band is already, go ahead and check out their website to hear some of their tracks for yourself. If you somehow still aren’t impressed, and I’m not really sure how you couldn’t be, then check them out for yourself September 21st at Purgatory in The Masquerade as they tour in support of hawaiii. Be sure to pick up a copy of hawaiii beforehand when it releases on September 17th.

-Peterson Worrell, September 16, 2013

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