An elegant swirl of tasteful progress.
Maybe it shouldn’t be surprising that the more orchestral strain of indie rock has proven to be among the most enduring. Hindsight has only further sanctified the chorale side of the Beach Boys, and arguably for a generation where angst might be a given, there’s greater resonance in the search for craftsmanship. With Diluvia, Freelance Whales seem to be close to finding the genuine object.
Songs like “Land Features” are brimming with musical thoughts and textures, and yet still seem to flow. Keyboards come in and out of “Spitting Image” but never overwhelm. The vocals often permeate but are never forced to the front—a glee club that dropped the egos and found a good mixer. Occasionally you wish for a nasty guitar jab or two to break up the waft a bit, but their commitment to energetic beauty makes for consistency throughout. While they still, ahem, swim in highly populated waters alongside Local Natives and king fish Sufjan, here Freelance Whales have made a strong argument for their crucial place in the current pantheon.