In the Whale
About In the Whale
With a minimalist approach and heavy sound that incorporates punk, garage, hardcore, and straight-ahead rock & roll, Colorado duo In the Whale rode their D.I.Y. work ethic to slow-burning national success in the mid-2010s. The work of singer/guitarist Nate Valdez and drummer/singer Eric Riley, the Denver band self-released a series of increasingly visible indie EPs -- like 2014's Nate & Eric and 2015's Full Nelson -- that earned them high-profile national support slots and appearances at major festivals like Lollapalooza and Riot Fest.
Formed in 2010 while Valdez was attending the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, In the Whale initially served as his project. After Valdez paired up with Riley as a guitar-and-drums duo, the two friends relocated to Denver in 2012 and recorded their debut EP, Cake, which helped to establish them throughout the state and earn them a tour support slot with the Photo Atlas. Released in 2014, their follow-up EP, Nate & Eric, made a solid showing on college radio, which, along with tour dates supporting Jane's Addiction, Guttermouth, and the Presidents of the United States of America, brought them to a wider national audience.
Arriving in 2015, Full Nelson, their third self-released EP, continued this upward trajectory, earning rave reviews and bringing them to major festivals like Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits. Later that year, they paired up briefly with Red Bull Sound Select, who helped them record a two-song single, "Neighbor," produced by the noise rock band No Age. Meanwhile, In the Whale's heavy touring continued, as they added dates with bands like the Darkness and Nashville Pussy before returning to the studio to record their fourth EP, 2018's Dopamine. ~ Timothy Monger