Black Whales

Artist bio

Black Whales is a five-piece psych-pop rock band from Seattle. Their sound drifts between booming, almost danceable psychedelic anthems to darker and more ambient territories. Pulling heavily from groups that have inspired them over the years, the band draws comparisons to groups from The Velvet Underground, 13th Floor Elevators and The Jesus and Mary Chain to more modern day contemporaries such as Kurt Vile, The War On Drugs and Crocodiles.

Formed in the winter of 2008 by close friends and longtime collaborators Alex Robert (vocals, guitar) and Alan Foote (guitar), the pair soon found a third partner in drummer Davey Brozowski (drums) before adding Ryan Middleton (bass) and later, organ and keys were introduced to the sound. During the first years, the band experimented with different genres and styles, adopting a reverb-soaked garage pop sound, while also experimenting a bit with the freak-folk genre. This sound took them around the US and saw Black Whales sharing stages with groups like The Breeders, Wooden Shjips, Vetiver, The Presidents of the United States of America, My Best Fiend and The Night Marchers, to name a few. The group have traveled coast-to-coast, playing festivals from national events such as SXSW, CMJ, San Diego Music Thing and Bumbershoot to more local NW events such as Seattles Capitol Hill Block Party, Doe Bay Fest and Portlands Music Fest NW.

Black Whales have just finished their second full-length record, an LP entitled "Through The Prism, Gently". The groups singer and songwriter Robert wrote and co-produced the album alongside co-producer and drummer Brozowski and main producer and mixer, Eric Corson. The record would change hands many times, eventually being mixed and influenced by four different people which include Eric Corson (The Long Winters), Richard Swift (Foxygen, Damien Jurado), Mark Rains (Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Waylon Jennings) and the groups own Robert. The result is a very colorful mix of production style and approach.

Using a dozen or more demos recorded at home as a guide, the band set out to create something very different from any of their previous efforts. The focus was put strongly on finding the best and most colorful sounds and moods for each track. Charmingly ancient synths, oddly detuned loops and found sounds play an equal role alongside the traditional rock instrumentation. From a motorcycle riding, Suicide-inspired track like "Do You Wanna Dance" to the slightly stoned, paisley groove of "Tiny Prisms", the record oozes a thick vibe that feels like warm glue and at times smells a bit like Peyote smoke.

The band is exploring options for a release of the mastered "Through The Prism, Gently", hoping to spend 2014 sharing its contents with audiences out in the world, both on stages and inside a good set of headphones.