The Lighthouse and The Whaler is in the Christmas spirit. Fans who've been following and keeping in touch with the Cleveland-based band can expect to receive a special gift from the group in their home mailboxes this week. The band spent a few hours on Sunday night creating and writing personal Christmas cards to devout followers – several who live abroad – to thank them for their continued support and to wish them a Merry Christmas.
In three short years, The Lighthouse and The Whaler (TLATW) has released a full-length album and an EP, toured coast to coast and appeared at high-profile events, including the Paste and Rdio Afternoon Delight at The Living Room. (Watch the video of TLATW performing "We've Got The Most" at The Living Room below.)
The band's work has been accompanied by a fanfare of media coverage from Spinner, KEXP 90.3 Seattle and BMI. Paste Magazine launched an exclusive premiere of the single "Venice" in October, and MTV described the band as "really cool melodic folk-rock ... and a live show you've got to check out for yourself."
|© The Rhythm Report 2011|
The Lighthouse and The Whaler
at Musica in Akron, Ohio on Dec. 16
A strong online presence has helped The Lighthouse and The Whaler reach music appreciators. The band has amassed a following of more than 4,200 Facebook fans, and the group has engaged those fans this year with a Kickstarter campaign, free downloads from Daytrotter* and a "Get to Know the Band" month. The individuals who comprise TLATW are dedicated to building relationships and open dialogue with listeners, and have put all their effort into making those connections relevant.
“We've been out to eat with people after shows; people will let us stay at their houses [while touring]. We've made a lot of good friends along the way, and there are people we’ve stayed with multiple times," LoPresti said. "People just want to know that you care."
Hard work and seizing opportunity has also been at the heart of The Lighthouse and The Whaler's achievement. Multi-instrumentalist Aaron Smith said the band doesn't say no to a lot of opportunities. However, he added the caveat, "We don’t do everything that comes our way either; we try to be smart about it."
Smith addressed the fact that major changes and lagging record sales in the music industry has made it difficult for bands to land big-time record deals without putting forth a significant amount of personal effort into building up to that career opportunity.
“It seems like a lot of people in the industry are scared to take chances on bands," Smith said. "Bands have to build their careers by themselves. You have to be willing to give your all to the project. It just seems it’s more difficult to get them to look at you if you haven’t done that already."
The five men mapped out a plan for increased exposure in the coming year that includes extending its reach to fans through touring and a social media campaign to launch new material.
The Lighthouse and The Whaler is finalizing contracts with a major New York-based PR agency and a licensing company to support the group through 2012 as they release several singles through January and February and a full-length album in the summer, according to LoPresti. The select PR agency will also be promoting the band as it prepares for its February-March tour, which will include a stop at South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin.
Stay tuned to The Rhythm Report for details about The Lighthouse and The Whaler's new album and its pending summer-time release.
Northeast Ohio fans can see this band perform next at The Grog Shop with Bears and Afternoon Naps on February 11, 2012.
*Since the release of The Lighthouse and The Whaler's Daytrotter session in July, Daytrotter.com has gone to a members format that charges $2 per month for the opportunity to download thousands of live recorded sessions with an impressive library of artists.