Said The Whale formed in 2007 as a collaboration between songwriters Ben Worcester and Tyler Bancroft. The pair's debut EP, Taking Abalonia, featured sunny west coast indie pop, with breezy harmonies, shimmering guitars, and lyrical tributes to their home city of Vancouver. In 2008, the album was rereleased as Howe Sounds/Talking Abalonia, featuring seven additional tracks that stretched the band's stylistic palate to include bubblegum folk ("The Light Is You"), thundering hard rock ("Last Tree Standing") and gentle ukulele ballads ("The Real of It"). After several personnel changes, the group settled upon a five-piece lineup that includes bassist Peter Carruthers, drummer Spencer Schoening, and keyboardist Jaycelyn Brown. The quintet embarked upon a rigorous touring schedule, crossing Canada numerous times and landing high profile gigs at V-Fest 2008 in Calgary and the nationally televised Canada Day celebration on Parliament Hill.
The group is now poised to take the next step with the release of its latest single, "Camilo (The Magician)." With its gritty powerchords and sunny powerpop chorus, the single has already been dubbed the "song of the summer" by Grant Lawrence of CBC Radio 3. Produced by Howard Redekopp (Tegan and Sara, The New Pornographers, Mother Mother) and Tom Dobrzanski (Hey Ocean!, The Zolas), it will appear on the group's sophomore album, Islands Disappear, due for release on October 13 via Upper Management/EMI. Unlike the west coast focus of previous releases, the new album draws on the experience of driving across Canada, from the van breaking down in Manitoba ("Dear Elkhorn") to camping in Alberta ("Emerald Lake, AB"). With stylistic forays that include backwoods folk ("False Creek Change") and danceable ukulele/glockenspiel rave-ups ("Goodnight Moon"), it's the sound of a band coming into its own, delivering on the promise of its early recordings.