[Album Review] Said the Whale- As Long As Your Eyes Are Wide
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Release Date: March 31, 2017
Hidden Pony Records

Vancouver natives Said The Whale released their fifth album As Long As Your Eyes Are Wide on March 31st. Their last album, hawaiii, was released in 2013, and now sounds like a sharp contrast to the “new and improved” band. Said The Whale has returned with fewer members, but greater sounds. Now acting as a trio, the band has experimented with their existing musical backgrounds, recombining what they already had to make something different yet simultaneously familiar.

It may seem that the band is moving towards a new style, but there’s no doubt that Said The Whale are still the band they were on previous albums, as their distinctive harmonies and catchy beats are still present on As Long As Your Eyes Are Wide – they’re just combined with new layers of colour.

Frontman Tyler Bancroft says this is the band’s most cohesive record in terms of sound, between his musical influences and that of his bandmate Ben Worcester. Their two very different musical styles of eclectic rock and folk have been contrasted on earlier records, but come together seamlessly on their newest release. As Long As Your Eyes Are Wide is booming with a lot of deep bass and playful synths, adding new colours to Said The Whale’s already colourful sound.

Basically, As Long As Your Eyes Are Wide sounds like a Said The Whale album, but with a surge of electricity running through it. Tracks like “Step Into The Darkness”, “Heaven”, and “Confidence”, are heavy on the electronic influence and prove Said The Whale’s success in encompassing many genres on one album. But if you’re longing for the band’s old sound, you may encounter hints of nostalgia in “Realize Real Eyes” and “Lilac and Willow”. “I Will Follow You” sounds like it could have been on hawaiii.

As Long As Your Eyes Are Wide takes the listener on a journey through various emotions and stories, including some that are very personal to the band (listen to “Miscarriage” and “Emily Rose”). Bancroft says this is probably their most personal record to date.

Similar to previous albums, Said The Whale expertly delivers tracks of many different sub-genres. From upbeat electronic tracks, to slowed-down soulful tunes, there’s something for everybody on this album.