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"Louise, Queen of Greenwood" Video by Blair Bogin
"Odds and Ends," video by Ellis Bahl
"The Color Orange" Live at Brooklyn Rod and Gun Club
"Everything Causes Cancer," (new song) live on Ear Candy NY
"Whale Belly, a band from Brooklyn, New York, make us think about the way the waters that we're swimming in feel.
We are forced to consider their depths and their temperatures."
The New Yorker
"Sophisticated Folk Rock"
"A band that would make Woody Guthrie proud."
The Onion's AV Club
"It’s hard not to wonder what inspired the band name Whale Belly. While it’s tempting to imagine the Brooklyn trio channeling the literary ghost of Captain Ahab to write seafaring songs for the modern generation, the music the band creates is equally interesting."
Ear Candy Interview
Breakthru Radio Live Performance:
East Village Radio Live Performance:
“I’m happy to be welcoming my pal, Todd Bogin (above right) and his excellent
folk-rock outfit, Whale Belly to Beyond Beyond is Beyond on Thursday. As a live
band, these guys are full of untamed roller coaster ride-like energy.”
“Whale Belly approaches the challenges of modern urban life through a
distinctly folk lens. I’m not simply referring to the genre of music that the
band plays. When most people hear the term folk, they think of folk music,
which conjures images of Bob Dylan, a barefoot hillbilly playing banjo on a
porch in Kentucky, a barefoot Bob Dylan playing banjo on a porch in
Kentucky, or other permutations of the same components. Educated
Listeners may know better than to anticipate barefoot Bob Dylan, but they’ll
still harbor preconceptions which, albeit considerably better informed, are
nonetheless the product of reflex.
Whale Belly’s music borrows stylistically from folk, but it also exhibits
shades of rock, pop, blues, and western classical, and there are certainly a
number of bands today playing in a more obviously folksy vein.
Nevertheless, the link becomes clearer when you strip away the
connotations and focus on the terminology itself. Folk signifies not just
music but a way of life, the simple life, and a rejection of the bigger, faster,
stronger ethos that fuels the so-called American dream. In that regard,
Whale Belly is a bona fide folk band. The music doesn’t stem indirectly, via
the genre “Folk Music”. It stems directly from the source, evoking the
philosophy that sparked the genre in the first place. It doesn’t matter that
the band members are children of the digital age, residing in the most
urban of locales—Whale Belly projects a simultaneous love for humanity and
contempt for the society humanity has subscribed to that would make
Woody Guthrie proud.”
A discussion on the art behind Whale Belly
Reviewsic 7" Write-Up The
“A pop song about debt? Shudder! Wasn't Obama supposed to save us from all
our nightmares? The good news is that when NYC-based Whale Belly kicks in
the Thin Lizzy vibes (that's Free Energy vibes for you lamestreamers) you won't
give a damn how many digits your school debt adds up to. Just dance, baby! It's
whole-grain rock n' roll with a country tinge...total Chaperone echoes.”
Go Folk Yourself Interview:
Large Hearted Boy:
“There are many reasons to love Whale Belly – including their quirky
name– but what sets them apart is their thought provoking, folk
inspired lyrics accompanied by fast guitar, slow violin and powerful
The Wild Honey Pie:
One of the more simple tracks, “Caesar’s Crying”, is actually my favorite of the
album. The acoustic guitar, combined with stellar harmonies, creates a truly
beautiful and humble sound. In fact, the harmonies on some of the songs are
perhaps what stand out to me the most. The sincerity in those vocals is obvious
throughout and adds a great deal to the connection that Whale Belly is capable
of making with their listeners.
Planet Verge Interview:
Named top-10 for The Deli Magazines Emerging Folk Bands in New York City.
“The band has between 9-10 people on stange and they had the entire place
[Glasslands] dancing and screaming and clapping between songs, it was really
something that rarely happens in Wʼburg. –The Deli Magazine Concert Review
“Whale Belly’s The Smile at the End of the Slope is sure to be a big hit, and
those who are unfamiliar with this friendly, hoot n' hollering good time in their
Music, will find themselves introduced to a new favorite...the band maintains an
Unheard of Midwestern charm mixed in with their NYC street smarts that keeps
That keeps them from being jaded, but gives enough insight on city life. Whale
Belly has created a musical parallel universe between the concrete jungle and
Places built on simple hospitality.” –Reviewsic.com, review and interview.
“It's really difficult to write about your friends' music. Not because your description will be biased,
or your worried about any comments being misinterpreted—but because the music they create is
not the basis for any friendship. Most of them I didn't find through music, and the relationships are
based on almost every other aspect of their lives but the songs themselves. It's a strange way to
think of what your good friends' do in that almost exclusionary, removed way—because it
obviously does make them part of who they are—but at the same time it's the least important part
for each other, for the friendships.”
“Hereʼs their whole debut album in MP3 or WAV, with art, chords and lyrics.
Basically, if Whale Belly ceases to exist or does not exist in your part of the
world, you can recreate
them with a little effort. Saw these guys live about 3 weeks back. Fun stuff.”
“I've been listening to the band Whale Belly's debut album, The Smile at
the End of the Slope, pretty much nonstop for the last two weeks.”
“ But the actual music, a well-established brand of rural indie-folk, is coming from
somewhere else...Whale Belly, which has everything it needs —melody, great
hooks, something to say—to be a fine, fine band. Most great New York albums participate in the urban nightmare theyʼre also critiquing. But Whale Bellyʼs
approach to the disparate sounds of NYC indie rock is to reject it altogether; this
is an outsider record. Whale Belly is that scrappy band in the subway: they may
not get too many New Yorkers to stop and pay attention to what they have to say,
but everyone that does will be more than happy that they did.”
“Todd Bogin, known to many as an accomplished Midwestern songwriter and
avid talker, seamlessly blends his soul into Whale Bellyʼs debut album ʻ...the
Smile at the End of the Slope.ʼ Since the albumʼs well-received release, the band
— which includes Nick Smeraski on drums and Josh Henderson on violin — has
been packing bars and cafés all around Brooklyn, NY.”
-Rock Edition, review and interview. http://www.rockedition.com/local-artistspotlight/whale-belly/
"In a song by local Park Slope musicians Whale Belly, there is an interesting lyric 'I know what I hate, I just don’t know why.' The upcoming show Whale Belly is slated to perform in,Post Plastic Project at Littlefield in Brooklyn, plans to remedy just such ignorance through a feast of artists, musicians and comedians... the upbeat and introspective words and sound of Whale Belly"
“Hit List: ʻOdds and Ends.ʼ” - Indie Sounds NY.
Todd Bogin- Vocals, guitars, piano, artwork
Nick Smeraski- Drums, vocals, engineering, producer/mixer
Josh Henderson- Violin, vocals
Sweet Evan Crane- Bass, Vocals
Whale Belly was formed by Todd Bogin and Nick Smeraski in 2010. What started as two friends' experimentations in songwriting and recording has turned into a debut album called ...The Smile at the End of the Slope, an intense, raw mix of determined folky-blues-rock which has been receiving enormous praise. In their short existence, Whale Belly has toured as a supporting act for nationally-known bands, been featured on various radio stations, and gained a cult following around Brooklyn with fun and rollicking live shows.