Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Mike Gentry and Jeffrey Neuberger
It's fun to create different hypotheticals in considering what Freelance Whales lead singer Judah Dadone does in different situations. Should dark clouds roll in during an afternoon and a light, but steady rain start to patter over the ground, we believe that Dadone would light up, throw on a slicker, some galoshes and go for a thoroughly enjoyable stroll through the neighborhood, through the puddles - finding the time spent to be ideal for his creative process. It seems as if it is then, when the portal opens up, when the pipeline is no longer constricted and he has conference with all of the dusty and ghostly thoughts slipping through his bloodstream, stoking the fires in his head. Should a frozen evening, with everyone coughing out the whitest of exhales, turn into a heavy snowstorm, with flakes as big as fists, he would throw on some layers and the first second that he was out of the door, he would flop down onto his back, into the accumulation and begin flapping his arms and legs to make a snow angel. If a fire were needed, if his friends were feeling the cold in their extremities, Dadone, no doubt, would be the fellow to tramp out into the woods to collect wood and kindling and he would do whatever he could to produce the heat that was necessary for those friends. On the band's debut album, "Weathervanes," a record loosely revolving around an old house with a history, it's obvious that Dadone would be that guy to pay attention to needs, to be considerate of wants and desires and those precious inner workings that are left hidden or mumbled. "Weathervanes" is a wholly imagined piece of art - a finger painting and a master work all rolled into one. It features tones that cannot be described as anything other than innocent and childlike, devoid of any rancor or sneaky agenda, just pure and heartfelt. It also features other tones that are the result of what should be decades and decades of living, of reading, of loving, of learning, of disappointment and of loss. It is what you accumulate and look back upon as a crippled old man or woman, who has trouble walking, but no trouble at all reliving their memories just yet. There is much talk about hearts and what they do, what kinds we own, over the course of "Weathervanes" and there's no real conclusion, but in the end, a definitive word on such a thing doesn't really matter because we're all stuck with the one we have - be it cold, be it flawed, be it warm or be it empty. Dadone hints that they can do wondrous things and Freelance Whales make us believe such a thing. He sings on "We Could Be Friends, "We compare our hearts to things that fly, but cannot land/Please don't put your face into your hands, we could be friends," and it's a reminder that we're all in this thing together. We should all feel as if those rains and that snow, those humming nights and hissing days are ours for the taking and, be what they will, they're ours to remember during those autumn years of our lives when the lights are dimming some.
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