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Alternative & Indie - Released February 8, 2019 | Arts & Crafts Productions Inc.

On 2017's As Long as Your Eyes Are Wide, Juno Award-winning indie pop/rockers Said the Whale were pared down to a trio and traded their provincial overcast indie folk for something a little more sleek and refined. Enlisting Cayne McKenzie of fellow Vancouver outfit We Are the City to produce, the band's first foray into electronic pop didn't completely leave their homespun predilections behind; rather, it absorbed them. On Cascadia, the group's sixth studio effort and first outing for Arts & Crafts, those proclivities are reversed, and the results feel more in line with earlier works like Little Mountain and Hawaii, though the heftier sonic imprint of its predecessor remains prevalent. Opener "Wake Up" makes the best case for both scenarios, delivering a galvanizing statement of intent via convulsive percussion and rambling staccato verses that yield a monster earworm chorus. Nervy follow-up "UnAmerican" hews closer to the Mother Mother-style electro-alt-rock of Eyes Are Wide, as does the spicy, post-punk-pillaging "Record Shop," but the hazy title track, a pastiche of surf's-up '70s pop and road trip-ready indie rock, brings things back into the misty Pacific Northwest. The band displays some considerable pop acumen on the stripped-down "Broken Man," a galloping power pop gem that would've fit snugly somewhere on Fleetwood Mac's Tusk. The 12-track set has some anodyne moments -- the insular and stylized "Old Soul, Young Heart" and the lovely yet moribund closer "Gambier Island Green" -- but even at its most ephemeral, Cascadia feels fully realized. ~ James Christopher Monger
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Alternative & Indie - Released March 30, 2018 | Hidden Pony Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released March 31, 2017 | Hidden Pony Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 17, 2013 | Hidden Pony Records

The fourth long-player from amiable indie rockers Said the Whale finds the Canadian quintet offering up another engaging set of homespun and heartfelt confections full of sharp, melodic twists and turns, and peppered with quirky, yet bittersweet musings that reflect a climate prone to overcast days. Featuring an infectious single in "I Love You," a radio-ready summer pop gem that pits the calculated, stripped-down propulsion of Spoon against the explosive chorus building of fellow Vancouverites Mother Mother, Hawaiii is the band's most well-crafted, and deliberately misspelled collection of songs to date. One of the band's greatest strengths is that it employs two extremely capable songwriters, and as was the case on 2012's Little Mountain, the load is spread pretty evenly between Ben Worcester's self-deprecating, conversational prose and Tyler Bancroft's fluid, pop-perfect croon. The arrangements are more ornate this time around as well, which is befitting of a band that’s hot off of a Juno Award for best new artist. Carefully constructed harmonies abound, especially on standout cuts like the resplendent “Mother,” which sounds like the Vaccines inoculated by the Beach Boys, and the richly detailed, multi-layered “Willow,” which sounds like the Beach Boys inoculated by the Vaccines. Elsewhere, the band explores icy, textural electro-pop on the languid “Resolutions,” staccato Vampire Weekend-inspired, pre-adulthood angst on “I Could Smoke,” and finally, the cruel and beautiful crush of existence on the penultimate and final tracks, “Helpless Son” and the lovely, Lucksmiths-esque “Weight of the Season,” the latter of which is as moving and evocative as anything the band has released to date. ~ James Christopher Monger
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Alternative & Indie - Released October 12, 2018 | Arts & Crafts Productions Inc.

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Alternative & Indie - Released December 14, 2018 | Arts & Crafts Productions Inc.

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 1, 2013 | Hidden Pony Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released November 15, 2018 | Arts & Crafts Productions Inc.

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Alternative & Indie - Released January 11, 2019 | Arts & Crafts Productions Inc.

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Alternative & Indie - Released November 15, 2018 | Arts & Crafts Productions Inc.

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Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 2012 | Hidden Pony

Said the Whale's third studio album arrives a year after the group landed a Juno Award for New Group of the Year, and the Vancouver-based indie rockers haven't lost their penchant for crafting infectious melodies grafted to lovelorn paeans to the Great White North. Little Mountain may be a regional affair, but it's hardly exclusive, as evidenced by tracks like "Big Sky, MT" and "Jesse, AR," both of which retain the group's fireside panache while widening the lens a bit. Fueled by Tyler Bancroft's even tenor and keen ear for quirky melodies, which beg for more than a few James Mercer (the Shins) comparisons, especially on the lovely and brooding "2010," and Ben Worcester's windswept, barroom romanticism, best used on stand-out cuts like "Big Wave Goodbye" and "The Reason," Little Mountain's charms may be of the homespun variety, but they're charming nonetheless. ~ James Christopher Monger
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Alternative & Indie - Released February 16, 2010 | Hidden Pony Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 16, 2014 | Hidden Pony Records

Alternative & Indie - Released August 4, 2017 | Hidden Pony Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released January 13, 2017 | Hidden Pony Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 1, 2013 | Hidden Pony Records

British Columbian five-piece Said the Whale's sophomore effort features 13 shimmering pop songs that loosely chronicle the Canadian outfit’s tours across the great white north. Islands Disappear should appeal to fans of the New Pornographers and the Polyphonic Spree. ~ James Christopher Monger
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Alternative & Indie - Released October 1, 2013 | Hidden Pony Records