What originally started in 2008 as a folk trio outfit has since been altered to an indie rock quartet. The Lighthouse & The Whaler formed in Cleveland, Ohio, so it only made sense for them to be destined alt-rockers having performed at The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. With this multi-genre background, they’re often accredited with proficiently blending different stylistic elements in their songs. Since TLATW’s inception, they’ve opened up for acts such as The Temper Trap, GIVERS, The Lumineers, and Ra Ra Riot. And if you’re curious about the band’s name, it’s inspired from Chapter 14 of the cult classic, Moby Dick.
Three years had passed since the group’s last full-length effort. Their love for M83’s dangerous and vulnerable music inspired them to create their most recent album, Mont Royal, in 2015. The band’s sound when they released their first album, The Lighthouse And The Whaler, relied heavily on string sections at the forefront of songs. However, Mont Royal swaps the warm, mellow sound of stringed instruments for the more ambitious undertones of synthesizers and crashes of electric guitars. While many associate synth with EDM, TLATW uses it in a more dramatic, meaningful fashion to progress and develop melodies. This new sound aligns more closely with the stereotypical “modern indie” vibe. TLATW makes this feel anything but stereotypical. They used this album as a stepping stone for self-discovery and to craft their new, undeniable sound. The forward-progressing music juxtaposes the introspective lyrics; these very lyrics give the music the beating heart it needs. “Glory” is the most prominent track to exemplify this. When listening to the vocals chanting “oh, oh, ooooooh”, there’s a sense of strength and steadfastness it gives the listener.
If you’re a fan of Local Natives and Young the Giant, check out The Lighthouse & The Whaler. With upcoming shows at the SXSW Music Festival, they’re on track to make 2017 the year of the whale.