Album Review // Whale Hail by Les Racquet

By Kevin Tshiamala

Hate me, berate me, or express your disapproval through whichever attention seeking manner you’d like [hipsters]. But it will not change the fact, that Les Racquet’s album Whale Hail is the most creative “indie” album of 2013.

The album is composed of fourteen well produced, daring and diverse tracks. The opener, “Palm Tree,” although delightful and lyrically pleasing, is almost misleading. It does not adequately prepare you for what is about to unfold throughout. This is what makes the album more than a vending machine snack. The three part harmony, talented musicianship, well written lyrics and multi faceted genres not only from song to song, but often within, is what gives this album the element of surprise that most are often lacking. Rather difficult to explain, but a pleasure to entertain. For as Cody Walker taught me, no surprise for the artist, no surprise for the audience.

Whale Hail maneuvers through grand blues driven jams like “Potluck Wedding” to psychedelic rock songs like “Queen.” Then off to the mothership with “Zumi;” rerouting for a brief stint on Rob Thomas Island with “Devil Girl” and back home to indie with “Wasting Time.”  – I know what you’re thinking, get off the T-I-P of their – But the fact of the matter is that there is very little to dislike about the album. Unless you like to complain about the petty nuances that happen with discovery, or are a fan of consistency and neatness, then you just may not fancy Whale Hail. Which would prove accurate, for “the band credits the album to the ‘gypsy lifestyle and living out of a suitcase’ that they have done over the last year” (HGMN).

Les Racquet is a trio from Brooklyn, NY featuring Patrick Carroll (guitar, vocals), Kenny Murphy (bass, vocals) and Daniel Malone (drums, vocals). Since the release of Whale Hail the trio has subleased their Brooklyn apartment and has been living out of their van while touring the United States. You can only admire that type of dedication and hope they break through the industry and level up. It is only a matter a time for as CMJ states, “imagine if someone gave Fleet Foxes some balls and turned them up to 11. Les Racquet is a dynamic mix of pop sensibilities and jazz tendencies that as Mike from the Deli says, ‘makes them hard to pin down, but easy to get down to’.” The easier you are to get down to, the more people will want to.

Live at Gypsy Sally’s (Click Me)

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