Christa Fletcher
February 6, 2012
More Music

Freelance Whales


Indie rock band Freelance Whales met in Queens, New York in late 2008. They began playing music together mixing a diverse array of instruments with ethereal vocal tracks while rehearsing in the Farm Colony of Staten Island, a city landmark, throughout 2009. New Yorkers discovered their enchanting music echoing in the L train subway tunnels as the band played on station platforms, infusing the city with acoustic tracks with a dash of folk. Like a laid back soundtrack for hip, urban life, songs by Freelance Whales transport listeners to a better place, whether that be their next destination on the subway or simply, a good mood.

Melodic and staccato sounds mix from instruments like the harmonium, banjo, glockenspiel, synthesizers, guitars, bass, tambourines and drums, for a quirky and polished vibe. Reminiscent of The Postal Service, Freelance Whales were dubbed “Band to Watch” by music site Stereogum and were a favorite among concertgoers and music critics at the music festival South by Southwest in 2010. “Amazingly, Freelance Whales are even more arresting live than they are on record,” said freelance music journalist and musician, Leo Maymind. “They exhibit the exuberance of a young band that feels lucky to be sharing ideas with their audience.”

Yan Yan Pei, who recently saw them live at the Bowery Ballroom in New York, agrees: “Freelance Whales are very energetic on the stage. Their indie folk style with a electro touch brought me on a harmonic, joyful journey. My friends and I enjoyed singing along with most songs.”

Band members Judah Dadone, Kevin Read, Doris Cellar, Jacob Hyman and Chuck Criss are toured the U.S. and Canada with the band Shout Out Louds, as they prepped to release their debut album, Weathervanes. Check out playful tracks from their eclectic LP like “Generator First Floor” and “Starring,” or for more mellow feel listen to “Ghosting.”

Christa Fletcher


Judah Dadone

Kevin Read

Doris Cellar

Jacob Hyman

Chuck Criss


"Freelance Whales have managed to channel something eerie, dreamlike, and seemingly autonomous – the sum of the players being much more than each individual part" - Mark Steffen, HEAVEmedia

"Amazingly, Freelance Whales are even more arresting live than they are on record. They exhibit the exuberance of a young band that feels lucky to be sharing ideas with their audience" - Leo Maymind, Earfarm


"It just doesn’t feel like kids we grew up with should be this free, so we figure this five-piece has been transported from some alternate universe or simpler time when being gleeful was more important than anything else." - RCRD LBL

"It's awash with gentle, naive bliss, and if you're the type that likes to observe hooks blossoming with the pace of an actual flower opening, then you might have just found a new favourite band." - NME

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