16 Songs, 48 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The quirky pop of Vancouver’s Said the Whale is charming, smart, and addictive. Organ arpeggios, uplifting choruses, sparkling guitars, and arrangements that tumble and cartwheel are driven by vocalist Tyler Bancroft and his earnest, slightly scruffy delivery. Bancroft’s musings on everything from childhood to techno-lust and romantic missteps are passionate and wry, showing a songwriter in top form. It’s no surprise that Said the Whale won Canada’s top music prize—a Juno Award—in 2011 for Best New Group; it distills all the good bits found in bands like Spoon, Vampire Weekend, and The Shins. The songs on Little Mountain sway and swing (“The Reason,” “O Alexandra”), twinkle and tip-toe (“Big Wave Goodbye,” “Seasons”), and swagger with surefooted strides (“2010,” “Big Sky, MT,” “Safe Harbour”). They tug at heartstrings with gentle, raw folk (“Lover/Friend,” the beautiful bonus track “A Lesson in Crime”) and kick up a little dust with bursts of keyboards and glistening pop guitars (“We Are 1980,” “Lucky”). Two tracks with surprise traces of new wave hookiness—“Heavy Ceiling” and “Loveless”—are among the jewels in this gorgeous collection.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The quirky pop of Vancouver’s Said the Whale is charming, smart, and addictive. Organ arpeggios, uplifting choruses, sparkling guitars, and arrangements that tumble and cartwheel are driven by vocalist Tyler Bancroft and his earnest, slightly scruffy delivery. Bancroft’s musings on everything from childhood to techno-lust and romantic missteps are passionate and wry, showing a songwriter in top form. It’s no surprise that Said the Whale won Canada’s top music prize—a Juno Award—in 2011 for Best New Group; it distills all the good bits found in bands like Spoon, Vampire Weekend, and The Shins. The songs on Little Mountain sway and swing (“The Reason,” “O Alexandra”), twinkle and tip-toe (“Big Wave Goodbye,” “Seasons”), and swagger with surefooted strides (“2010,” “Big Sky, MT,” “Safe Harbour”). They tug at heartstrings with gentle, raw folk (“Lover/Friend,” the beautiful bonus track “A Lesson in Crime”) and kick up a little dust with bursts of keyboards and glistening pop guitars (“We Are 1980,” “Lucky”). Two tracks with surprise traces of new wave hookiness—“Heavy Ceiling” and “Loveless”—are among the jewels in this gorgeous collection.

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