Whales and Roses Review in the Aquarian
This group is far from ordinary. Lead vocalist Jessie Murphy, along with bandmates Marcia Webb and Tyler Beckwith, create a whimsical world of harmonies accompanied by intriguing lyrics. With words so intricate they could be beautiful poems and attractive instruments such as woodwinds and the banjo, this group raises the standards for indie folk music.
The first song, “Whales And Roses” is extremely catchy and relatable. Singing of love and childhood escapades, Murphy says, “Love isn’t for the faint of heart.” Right they are. Your foot will continue to tap the floor as the next track, “Ghost Is The Color,” begins. The chorus will be stuck in your head after the first time around. “Black Diamond, Pink Diamond,” is a tad too trippy for my taste. The song itself is decent, but the lyrics and content are strange. This time, the woodwind instruments make this track sound outdated, and the swooning repetition of “black diamond, pink diamond” make it sound even older. While the band’s vibe isn’t conventional, this song is one to skip over.
Number four begins with an upbeat banjo and upfront lyrics such as, “If I hear something I don’t like, you know I’ll punch you straight in the mouth.” The softness of Murphy’s voice is something you shouldn’t underestimate. She has the ability to sing softly, but cut the jugular at the same time with her lyrics. The closing song, “How We Loved Her,” is a mellow acoustic song with subtle strings in the background. Murphy and Webb sing in perfect harmony. Their voices alone make this song beautiful.
Some standout songs on the album are “Whales And Roses,” “In The Library,” and “Subway.” Every time a new song begins, so does the journey. You feel included in a storyline that Murphy creates through her realistic lyrics. From their lyrical approach at poetry to their real as can be attitude, they set the bar high for others. This is how it’s done.
In A Word: Eccentric
—by Sara Fazio, November 5, 2012