Howlin’ Whale premieres the music video for “Rat” on Medium. “Rat” is from Howlin’ Whale’s debut EP, Many Lives, dropping June 21, on GYPSYPOP Records.
According to Howlin’ Whale, the “song is a warning spell cast in self-defense and in defense of life itself, as an animal would warn another animal looking to attack in the wild — not a vow of revenge.”
Howlin’ Whale and her band, made up of Fire Mist (guitar), Kavika G (guitar), M.Cat Spoony (bass), and Tyler Hammond (drums), offer a totally sui generis sound, a sound revolving around Howlin’ Whale’s psychedelic harmonica, a style of playing she refers to as “bog.” With roots deeply embedded in the blues, reggae, hip-hop, and rock and roll, bog harmonica effervesces, boils, gurgles, and “howls like a whale.” It’s a raw, gutsy sound, organic and deliciously distinctive.
Howlin’ Whale began refining the sound in 2011, as all-consuming wanderlust drove her hither and yon. Landing in L.A., she contributed her unique harmonica gift to Atlas, the album by Sea At Last, co-writing “Castle” with the band, followed by premiering it on KCRW’s Morning Becomes Electric. Sea At Last’s label, GYPSYPOP Records, captivated by Whale’s inimitable talent, signed her.
Howlin’ Whale released her debut single, “Run,” in 2015, which was produced by Gregory Scott, aka UBK. Since then, she’s provided harmonica, vocals, and keyboards for Sea At Last, Taylor Quinn, Kavika G and the Kosmic Geckos, and Rising Son, as well as forming the band Havin’ A Good Time.
“Rat” opens with the haunting wail of Whale’s harmonica attended by a rumbling bass line and blues-inflected guitars. A down and dirty rhythm, grinding and pulsing with visceral impetus, infuses the tune with choleric energy.
Whale’s snarling, grimacing voice hits with harsh impact, full of palpable dark resolves and wicked tonal flavors. Her potent rapping flow, fueled by auras of lethal colors and skintight textures, seethes with venomous pushing dynamism, as blistering guitar licks inject charring sonic accents.
The video, shot in black and white, surges with thick smoldering visuals, smudged and encrusted with grungy atavistic surfaces, reaching out with trenchant projection.
Blending dripping flavors of industrial-strength blues and trap muscle, “Rat” seethes with implacable force brooding over titanic emotions. Howlin’ Whale rips it up on this track, delivering energy of Jovian potency.