Happy Birthday To Said The Whale!

Said The Whale. Picture taken from their website.

Juno-award winning Vancouver band Said The Whale celebrates their 12th birthday today! To celebrate I’ll be writing about some of their songs, as well as the great work they’re doing for the community!

Even if you haven’t listened to Said The Whale, you’ve no doubt heard their name. They’ve established themselves as one of the most successful musical acts to come out of Vancouver in recent years. Here’s a rundown of what this band is all about;

Let’s start by listening to their highest charting song: I Love You. Charting all the way at number 1 on the Canadian Alt charts and hitting 38 on US alt, not bad! It’s an upbeat, tongue-in-cheek kind of song about the unconditional love you feel towards family. It features a chorus that is almost annoying, but that I guarantee will get stuck in your head. What I like about this song is the lyrics can be applied to just about anyone you have a relationship with; family, romantic, or even just your friends. Honestly, I think the first chorus would be very sweet to write on a card to somebody you care about, but that you maybe don’t always get along with;

You got it wrong but I love you

You’re kinda rough but I love you

We get along and I love you

Next up we have my personal favourite; Step Into The Darkness. To be honest when I first heard this song on their album As Long As Your Eyes Are Wide it didn’t immediately jump out as my favourite. It wasn’t until I saw them perform it live in 2017 that this song became my go to. I was lucky enough to be one of the first people into the Vogue Theatre to watch them perform the album. I can still clearly remember Ben Worcester dancing slightly awkwardly (sorry Ben) as the song played on, just before the chorus kicked in the light momentarily went dark, before flashing on and off again in, what I assume, was a very well choreographed laser show-esque type of display. To this day I would say it’s one of my all-time favourite moments at a show! I think the best thing about this song is that lyrics could apply to just a million different situations. Take the opening for instance;

My sweet light, sweet love of mine

It might never again feel like it’s the right time

If it’s the end, well, let’s cross that line

Let us step into the darkness

Let’s step into the darkness

I’ve always thought of it as having an anxiety towards something new, having a trust in someone or something, and taking that next step into the unknown together. C’mon, who can’t relate to that?

A photo I took during the show.

The last song I’m going to touch on is UnAmerican. It was their lead single on their newest album and I have been hearing it everywhere. It reached a respectable 9th on the Canadian rock charts, so odds are you might have heard it on the radio.The song itself is great; well written, well produced, and well performed. I could talk about the lyrics to this song, but what I really want to draw attention to is the music video, which won the Prism Prize’s Audience Award. I do not envy the amount of work director Johnny Jansen and the whole team put into the video, but I do respect it.

Said The Whale has solid music, is great live, has really cool music videos, and on top of this they do some really great work for the community! They’re playing 12 shows at high schools around Metro Vancouver totally free! Better yet, each school will be getting $1,000 plus any funds raised from corporate sponsorships and crowdfunding. There will also be a contest that will give a high school aged band a chance to open for them during their show at the Malkin Bowl in September, the top twenty finalist will appear on a compilation CD, and the final five will get a day long mentorship session, not a bad way to give back! They also plan to launch a biannual grant at the end of 2019 that will award $5,000 to a new young band each year until 2024.

Ok, so Said The Whale is pretty awesome! We should send them some birthday gifts! Well, actually, the band has asked that instead of gifts you watch and share this short clip featuring Ben Worcester and Tyler Bancroft speaking about a need for optimism in young artists.

If you’re interested in seeing them live, they will be at the Malkin Bowl September 6th. You can check that out here. I can’t recommend it enough.

Happy Birthday to Said The Whale! A great Vancouver band, made up of awesome people!

Are you a fan of theirs? Have a favourite song? Let me know!

-Nelson Ellis

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