Said The Whale

Vancouver's Said The Whale has been on a steady upward trajectory for the past six years, as relentless touring and a prolific string of releases have led to successes including a JUNO Award in 2011 for New Group of the Year and nationally charting singles. In 2013, the tireless five-piece — which includes dual songwriters Tyler Bancroft and Ben Worcester, drummer Spencer Schoening, keyboardist Jaycelyn Brown and bassist Nathan Shaw — will continue to break down doors by releasing its most adventurous and hook-filled batch of songs yet.

The band formed in early 2007 and, following some early EPs, released the debut-full length Howe Sounds/Taking Abalonia in 2008. Said The Whale began to amass a grassroots following through frequent tours, and they scored a string of Canadian radio successes with the albums Islands Disappear (2009) and Little Mountain (2012). These albums earned attention from media outlets like Spin, BBC 6 Music, and Consequence of Sound, and the band was profiled in the nationally televised CBC documentary Winning America. Said The Whale has been nominated for two more JUNO Awards in 2013 for Alternative Album of the Year and Recording Package of the Year (alongside art director Andy Dixon) for Little Mountain.

In keeping with this inexhaustible work ethic, the band is releasing another new collection of songs in the form of the four-song I Love You EP, due out June 18, 2013, on Hidden Pony Records. Once again teaming with longtime studio collaborator Tom Dobrzanski (We Are the City, the Zolas) at his Monarch Studios, the musicians pushed their musical limits and honed their love of fast, punchy pop-rock.

"In the past I've felt pressure to write 'radio' songs, or 'cool' songs or whatever, but this time I went into the writing process with mindset of 'Fuck everything, I'm just going to write what makes me happy,'" says Tyler Bancroft, explaining that the songs were written with a clean slate and no expectations. Ironically, what resulted are some of Said The Whale's catchiest, most accessible songs yet. The singer observes, "It turns out I just like pop music."

This affection for melody shines on I Love You's title track, which is led by a surge of post-punk guitars and careens between spiky choruses and a sunny, sock hop-inspired bridge. Elsewhere, the Worcester-sung "Barbara-Ann" is a buoyant blend of heartfelt romance and '60s-style vocal harmonies, while "Mother" is a synth-heavy new wave banger and the outdoorsy "Narrows" begins with acoustic strumming before exploding into hard-hitting rock. These upbeat songs were mixed by Canadian studio guru Gus Van Go (Hollerado, the Stills).

"I spend so much time chipping away at my thoughts, trying to get to the core, and right now I'm finding it easy," Worcester says. "I've never felt more creative." He adds that the love-struck mood of "Barbara-Ann" was inspired by a couple who own a hammock store in Vancouver. "It's a proposition to someone special, suggesting that we too can live together like this beautiful pair of chilled out lifers," he reveals.

The EP offers a taste of Said The Whale's fourth album, due out this fall. These latest sessions found Bancroft taking on the role of co-producer, and he guided each song in bold new directions without adherence to genre. "Rather than record in one big session, we used the 'hip-hop method' of doing two or three songs at a time," he reflects. "This let us focus all of our energy on each song without getting overwhelmed."

The new material was penned in a surge of creativity that found Bancroft and Worcester letting their guard down and following their instincts. "My songs on this album are the most vulnerable songs I've ever written," notes Bancroft. "Lyrically it's the most honest I've ever been."

I Love You EP is the sound of a band already on the top of its game breaking free from all expectations and boldly reinventing its identity. And with a new full-length close behind, expect to see more new sides to Said The Whale soon.

I Love You EP – Out June 18, 2013 (on Hidden Pony Records)

Royal Teeth is a happy accident. On a whim, the New Orleans-based band started incorporating samples and electronics to its indie vibe. Debut album "GLOW" coming August 13th on Dangerbird Records.

Wild Rompit

Over the course of two years, Wild Rompit's intersection of heart pounding indie rock and gritty vocals has helped them to establish a solid fan base in their hometown of Philadelphia. With two self-releases and subsequent national tours, Wild Rompit has been building a family of fans in clubs, warehouses, art galleries, fields and basements where the inspiring fervor of their live show has garnered them legions of loyal fans.

Brotherhood marked pronounced growth in the band's songwriting. Wild Rompit's homegrown roots sound reaches new heights in a youthful, yet wizened tone through songs filled with passionate, raw energy and lyrically honest portrayals of self‐discovery, friendships broken and mended. "You can learn a lot about yourself through your relationships with the people around you," explains lead singer Blair, "and the songs on Brotherhood are about how far you'd go for those people."

$10.00

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Said The Whale with Royal Teeth, Wild Rompit

Wednesday, September 25 · Doors 7:00 PM / Show 8:00 PM at World Cafe Live Philadelphia - Upstairs