Freelance Whales have an air of goodwill hovering about them, a disarming sweetness that gives their brand of indie pop a mood-altering quality. It might have kept the band safe; scouring Craigslist for potential band members and busking on New York subway platforms both might seem like risky ventures, but the Whales have managed to turn the odds in their favor with melodies that keep the cold out, wrapping you in the homey warmth of gently picked banjo and vintage synthesizer. Each of the five group members sing and switch instruments constantly throughout their set, but it doesn't feel like showing off—the band isn't aggressive enough to push your face in their talent—it's simply a product of a heavily layered sound, where each piece has a rightful place. Their recorded material feels far more subdued than their live show, where the group's appreciation for the attention they're currently receiving is palpable, energizing both the Whales and their audience. They're aiming to be adored, and hitting their target dead-on. With Miniature Tigers. 18+.
Wed., Dec. 1, 8 p.m., 2010
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