Building on their debut album I Am Haunted, I Am Alive and the subsequent The Land Rush EP, Cheyenne is out to use past difficulties – relocation, lineup changes, freak weather delaying cross-country recording – as fuel for their brand new album The Whale. The band again uses classic songwriting structures to this time paint a picture of not only knocking on opportunity’s door, but kicking it down when no one answers. The once revolving cast of musicians is now four, the more urgent songs and tighter arrangements paying tribute to their true collaboration. The Whale is the result of Cheyenne’s journey from the Midwest to the east coast, from a one man solo project to a true-blue working band, from gentle folk desperation to rock and roll deliverance.
Arrival in Brooklyn meant leaving the supportive confines of their hometown in Norman, OK, but a chance meeting with fellow Oklahoma transplant and recording engineer Michael Trepagnier (Counting Crows, Phillip Glass) provided the band with a much needed springboard into the recording of the band’s second LP. Trepagnier oversaw initial tracking at The Buddy Project in Queens, NY and then later at the band’s makeshift loft studio The Farm in Brooklyn. All tracks were then brought to BlackWatch Studios in Norman to finish tracking and mixing with longtime friend and producer Chad Copelin (Bishop Allen).
The Whale owes much of its new sound to the addition of guitar player Josh Harper, whose swirling guitar lines bring a new shade to the palette. Harper joins rock solid drummer Heath Fisher, bassist and songwriter Ben King, and guitarist, vocalist, songwriter, and founding member Beau Jennings to bring the album to fruition. The usual suspects pitched in to again collaborate with Cheyenne, including Starlight Mints member and pop wonder Ryan Lindsey, Ex-Fruit Bats pedal steel player Rob Stephenson, Josh Jones of Oklahoma’s Evangelicals, New York City anti-folk singer Jaymay, Oklahoma’s legendary lost songwriter Tim Miser, and veteran drummer James Mcalister.