Doris Cellar of Freelance Whales
“You know when you hang out with your girlfriends and all of a sudden you’re having your period together?” asks Doris Cellar, the lone female member of indie pop janglers, Freelance Whales. “I’m kind of happy that I don’t have to worry about that.”
With their new album, Weathervanes, due out any day and a slew of new tour dates added, Doris took time out of her busy schedule to chat with me about glockenspiels, crocheting and the rigors of the road. “I had so much fun [at the Chicago show] that I woke up with a stiff neck. Not for any other reason than head-banging on stage,” she giggles. “I was jumping around a lot and I woke up the next morning and my neck was really stiff. It was worth it. I had a blast.”
Sharing the stage with the likes of Cymbals Eat Guitars, Fanfarlo and Bear in Heaven while traveling from London to New York to San Francisco in the span of a few weeks is enough to make any girl want to reach for the crochet hooks. “We have long drives,” she explains. “I started to crochet these little flowers on tour and sell them at shows. Also if I see someone who would look cute with a little flower in their hair, I’ll just give it to them. It’s like a donation. I end up giving a lot of them away. It’s something I’m doing in the van to keep myself sane.” And she is more than happy to work out a trade. “I gave this girl a pin and an hour later, she comes up to me and gives me a pin that she made. I didn’t necessarily think I was the only one making pins and hairclips but I guess girls do that sort of thing and it’s kind of nice to trade off with my fans.”
The album itself maintains a rather homemade vibe despite the new record label and glowing press. From the patchwork needlepoint of the cover, to the ringing, sloshing, singing, banging exuberance of each track, Weathervanes is more than the sum of its parts. “We have harmonium in there, glockenspiel, some watering cans for percussion, electronic elements, guitars, basses. The harmony is coming from every band member,” she says. “Judah [Dadone] wrote the songs and then we picked up the instruments and added our different flavors to each song. We took his ideas and we branched off of it with what we knew how to do and what felt right.”
Doris claims “Generator^Second Floor” as one of her favorite songs to play live. “It’s more dancey,” she says. “I like it when people are having fun in the crowd.” The sing-song harmonies and cheerful percussion of this track can be sampled on their MySpace page. For full-flavor, pick up Weathervanes, released on Frenchkiss / Mom + Pop, March 15, 2010. Yummy.