Freelance Whales' members make huge tiny music. Their instruments tend to produce delicate sounds: banjos, violins, xylophones, drums played delicately with brushes. But their songs are arranged in such a way that these small sounds form grand, swelling passages that start out softly, then build to something majestic.
The band spent its early days busking on the streets and subway platforms of New York City, which explains a lot: If you're playing near subway trains and scores of hurrying pedestrians, you'd better make some noise. But it's clear that singer Judah Dadone and the rest of the group have learned something while touring behind their debut album, Weathervanes. The band went on 11 tours to support the record, and its recent follow-up, Diluvia, sounds bigger and brighter as a result.
In this session, hear Freelance Whales perform songs from both records and talk to World Cafe host David Dye about the process of putting together Diluvia.