Freelance Whales

There’s this cool little indie rock band from Queens, New York, called the Freelance Whales, who have a particular way with a song. Comparisons to the Postal Service, Belle & Sebastian and Sufjan Stevens are all fine and flatteringly good, and it wouldn’t be too big a leap to throw in Efterklang and DeVotchKa in there as well, but this folk indie pop has a wealth of influences and an infectious sound that should allow them to stand on their own.

On the scene since the late-’00s, Judah Dadone, Doris Cellar, Chuck Criss, Jacob Hyman and Kevin Read  (a group cobbled together from friends word-of-mouth and Craigslist) crashed through with a handful of spritely singles laden with melodic hooks. Throw in banjos, glockenspiels, mandolins, harmoniums and synthesizers, and you’ve got a band capable of greatly pleasing noise and great versatility.

With a sound honed in busy subways full of competing buskers, it was quickly gobbled up by fans and tastemakers wanting to use their music to help garner attention for Twitter reboots, cars and TV shows. We couldn’t resist the pull of their music either and recently used their song "Generator (First Floor)" in the spot above entitled “Sue.”

 "Generator (First Floor)", taken from their debut album, Weathervanes, is that perfect song that strikes a chord and continues to evenly and deliciously melt around the brainpan, long after it ought to have faded away.

comments (8)

Comment FAQ

    • BuoyJumper
    • 3/15/2011 5:50 PM

    I am a volunteer historian for the U.S. COAST GUARD and their WW2 era fleet of 39, 180-foot buoy tenders. All 39 tenders are now decommissioned, many serving in foreign navies and some privately owned here in the states. At 30-seconds into the commercial there appears a former USCG 180-foot buoy tender. Can you tell me where this footage for the commercial was taken? Any chance someone knows the name of that ship other than SUE painted on the side? Thanks for your help. BJ

    • FancyNancyCho
    • 3/17/2011 5:29 AM

    I liked the music & also Happy B'day Starbucks! Thanks for the $50 gift cards! http://on.fb.me/ghCjmU 

    • stevetalbert
    • 3/18/2011 11:30 AM

    great song. great band. Chuck Criss is just as talented as his brother Darren Criss

    • admin admin
    • 3/24/2011 4:38 PM

    Hi BuoyJumper, This was shot at the Port of Long Beach. The ship is called Fearless.

    • Borovenskis
    • 3/25/2011 3:49 AM

    Isn't this the same music used by Twitter? http://youtu.be/rIpD7hfffQo How come?

    • profmurphy
    • 3/27/2011 7:50 AM

    thank you SO much for this commerical! i teach operations management at the college level and start my semester by explaining all of the operations that go into delivering a cup of your coffee... and this commercial illustrates it perfectly! brilliant idea!!!

    • pollymarie
    • 3/29/2011 1:37 PM

    Umm... the button says "Get it free on iTunes", but when I get there, it's not available for free. Was it only free for one day? Love the commercial!

    • buoyjumper
    • 7/26/2011 6:31 AM

    For anyone interested ... The 180 Veterans Group at the CG Channel Community have confirmed that the vessel "SUE" in the commercial is the former Coast Guard Cutter SORREL, WLB-296. She has been renamed FEARLESS and last we heard is on her way to Haiti to help with relief efforts there.

Find Us Online