Puritanical indie types unsettled by how well Owl City’s “Fireflies” fits on the new Radio Disney Jams 12 should comfort themselves with the debut from this suitably fringe-dwelling New York combo. Like labelmates Passion Pit, Freelance Whales trick out their wistful, post–Postal Service electro-pop with just enough record-nerd insularity to fend off cred-endangering Justin Bieber fans.
That circumscribed vibe is most often the product of noodly string-band bits that, when contrasted with the caffeinated computer grooves, conjure an appealing frisson of down-home retro-futurism. In the lovely “Hannah,” you can’t really tell which came first, the banjo or the beat. The song kicks off with lines from sweet-voiced frontman Judah Dadone that suggest words might also keep Freelance Whales from the hearts and minds of Americas tweens: “Do me this solid if you would, pretty lady/Please grab your martini and meet me on the balcony.” But, hey, whatever it takes, right?
FREELANCE WHALES + SHOUT OUT LOUDS | Paradise, 967 Comm Ave, Allston | May 6 @ 8 pm | 18+ | $15 | 617.562.8800 or thedise.com