Monday, 28 January 2013

Freelance Whales on Life

Last week, I was lucky enough to experience Freelance Whales live in Toronto at the MOD club – an evening that easily pushed this band to the top of my favourites playlist (and, if there’s one thing I am outwardly proud of, it’s my musical collection…Which will knock the balls off yours. Trust me.)

After having my head blown off by the level of musicianship I encountered that night, I began to ponder over the lyrical genius also inherent in a Freelance Whales song, only the arrive at the conclusion that the writing is so far beyond an average intelligence level that most listeners would have great difficulty deciphering any subliminally encoded messages. Fortunately for you, the simple act of stumbling upon this page has granted an opportunity to bypass the ambiguous rhetoric and move into deep understanding…You know, because I claim to have superiority over your ability to comprehend the lyrics. Below, my easily confused friends, are 6 carefully selected excerpts from Freelance Whales song writing that will be forever framed in the light of pure truth via my thorough interpretations.

“Shut me up with your long tube socks, they don’t scream ‘Hey, let’s just be friends’”

Ah, yes, the perfect start to our virtual Freelance Whales guidebook: the opening lines to ‘Starring’, a band favourite if I do say so myself. While we find the writer taking the first-person perspective of a smitten, gleeful romantic that had radically changed their outlook on their lover-to-be, many other layers of lust are explained throughout the piece. Here, the subject participating in the mere act of wearing high socks has given the writer an erection. Clearly, someone is obsessed.

Let’s be frank here: tube socks cannot speak nor do they have sentience. On the other hand, seeing their crush in tube socks has left the writer speechless. Amazing is the power of socially-constructed axioms on the human mind, especially in the case of outward appearance. If tube socks are what get you off, then tube socks on that person you’ve been stalking is guaranteed to give you some bedroom material for a long, long time. 

“Don’t fix my smile, life is long enough, we will put this flesh into the ground again”

Let’s shift gears now and study the final words of ‘Generator: Second Floor’. What social implications are being discussed in this example? The cyclical nature of life on earth? The pressure associated with having the ‘perfect body’?

It is clear that Freelance Whales is quite anti-plastic surgery (at least in the case of aesthetic purposes). Honestly, at this point, they sound like hippies. But cool hippies, like the kind that still have jobs and are productive members of society. They preach a gospel that drives against North American values of body image and fake ba-jube-jubes, finding happiness in the natural and unscathed.


Found in almost every Freelance Whales song, it seems as through actual words don’t always cut it when you’re creating a masterpiece. Sometimes, it’s just better to bust out in some melodic non-sensical mouth noises instead of singing with real words.

“Do me this solid if you would, pretty lady – please grab your martini and meet me on the balcony”

Who doesn’t like a nice martini for those nights spent socializing on a balcony? Not ‘Hannah’, evidently, or this song wouldn’t be named after her. Hannah seems like a fairly awesome person if she partakes in these activities. 

Moreover, Freelance Whales have stayed classy by finding time to both compliment a female and feed her drinks whilst enjoying the outdoors. No need to worry about mislead intentions here – the song continues to explain how the writer desires to make a ‘light show’ and questions whether or not Hannah is ‘outside-in or inside-out’ (obviously not sexual references). This tots danceable musical creation is one of their best and most admired, if only to celebrate the fact that Hannah is about to endure one of the wildest and forgettable nights of her life (depending on what was put into that ‘martini’). 

“But oh, you caught me sleeping in the power sockets, you caught me mildew in the tiles of the bathroom.”

Yeah….I have no idea what’s going on in this one. Your guess is as good as mine.

 “..your cello bows, we stole your hair to make them…We’re sorry for the iron shoes we nailed to you and stuck you in the rain alone.”

Finally, we arrive at one of the most poignant selections in the Freelance Whales artillery: ‘Broken Horse’, a song about animal rights, human/non-human relations and a fairly mistreated steed. From near-skinning a horse for musical instruments to shoving a metal half-ring into its feet, Freelance Whales warns a desensitized youth of the perils in animal domestication.

Sifting through the deep-rooted words of Freelance Whales is a taxing but necessary process if one is to complete the circle of post-folk wizardry. I hope my simplifying of said works has helped you to establish a well-rounded picture of this powerhouse indie team. Please enjoy responsibly.

Safe travels,

Aaron Turpin

No comments:

Post a Comment