When Vancouver group Said the Whale announced their latest record As Long As Your Eyes Are Wide, they also shared that they'd parted ways with two of their members, and were now operating as a trio. The news left fans feeling a sense of loss and hesitance — but they never had anything to fear. With Tyler Bancroft and Ben Worcester still sharing co-writing duties and Jaycelyn Brown behind the keyboard, As Long as Your Eyes Are Wide serves as their most mature and finely tuned effort to date.
The record features production by Cayne McKenzie of fellow Vancouver outfit We Are the City, who bathes each track in a shimmery new sound that had yet to be explored on previous releases. While each track maintains the sound that Said the Whale have come to be adored for, the band dip their toes into heavier narratives here, from fighting for your relationship to grieving and the pain of loss. Having mostly rid themselves of the acoustic instrumentation that had become a staple of their sound, shiny synth melodies breathe new life into upbeat tracks like "More Than Ever" and "Confidence," and evoke melancholy on the record's most heart-wrenching numbers, "Miscarriage" and "Emily Rose."
With As Long as Your Eyes Are Wide, Said the Whale prove that even seasoned, decade-old acts can face new hurdles with grace. Here, the band transition into a refined new era while remaining true to themselves. (Hidden Pony)