Long before Vancouver’s Said The Whale became a JUNO Award-winning, radio chart-topping indie rock band, it was an exploratory songwriting experiment led by high school friends Tyler Bancroft and Ben Worcester. Now, a decade since their 2007 formation, they have taken the project back to its freeform roots while simultaneously venturing forward into uncharted art-pop territory.
As Long As Your Eyes Are Wide, the band’s fifth studio album, marks a return to the group’s formative philosophies. Set for release on March 31, 2017 via Hidden Pony Records, Said The Whale recorded their latest batch of songs in various Vancouver studios, with We Are The City’s Cayne McKenzie serving as producer helping to reconfigure song textures, soaking scratch vocals in effects and stitching back together song fragments into completed tracks. The sessions were briefly interrupted by the birth of Tyler’s son, and Jaycelyn, newly married, had to record some of her parts while on her extended honeymoon in Southeast Asia.
“(As Long As Your Eyes Are Wide) is a return to how Tyler and I used to make music,” notes Ben, “which is just experimenting with anything and everything. We started out using Casio keyboards and drumbeats on our computers, and then we turned into a rock band. This is a return to being free to make anything.”
Through all the years, the racked up international tour miles, and internal change the band has weathered, this new record remains true to the spirit of Said The Whale’s classic work. At its core, As Long As Your Eyes Are Wide is a singer-songwriter record, guided by introspective lyrics and arresting, alchemical group harmonies. “This is our most personal, earnest record for sure,” Tyler says. “Even the upbeat songs are lamenting and sad.”
The first single from the album will be released in early January 2017. Additional album news, music and visuals will be forthcoming in the new year.