Howlin’ Whale – ‘Rat’

When you hear a name like Howlin’ Whale you conjure up a mind picture of someone very distinctive; perhaps an old sea captain who sings about their life on the briny wave.

But Howlin’ Whale is far from that.

Harmonica player, composer, and vocalist, Howlin’ Whale grew up in the old-growth marshlands of New England, where she developed her love of music, and in 2011 began honing her psychedelic harmonica style she’s called “bog”, for which she takes inspiration the sounds of the wild world in which she grew up.

Wanderlust took Howlin’ Whale to LA, where she played harmonica on Sea At Last’s album, ‘Atlas’. She also co-wrote ‘Castle’ with them, which premiered on KCRW’s ‘Morning Becomes Eclectic’ show. This collaboration reaped rewards, with the band’s label GYPSYPOP RECORDS signing her up. ‘Rat’ is the first single from Howlin’ Whale’s debut EP, ‘Many Lives’.

‘Rat’ is a spiritual call for assistance against the treacherous forces attacking a community. It’s an incantation making use of reggae rhythms, wailing guitars, and an ominous groove. The harmonica takes on an animalistic feel in the hands of Howlin’ Whale, and she demands answers to the question, “What do you do when you sniff a rat in our midst?”

A gritty hard hitting song deserves a video to match, and the clip for ‘Rat’ sees Howlin’ Whale and her band, Fire Mist, Kavika G, M.Cat Spoony, and Tyler Hammond in a small, dimly-lit room, shot in black and white by director Immanuel Otto, who ensures that the viewer sees everything that’s going on in the room, darting about with a frantic energy equal to that of the song. It’s menacing, it’s eerie, it’s downright creepy…it’s wonderful.

Find out more about Howlin’ Whale from her official website.

Howlin' Whale - Rat

About the author

Lisa has been writing for over 20 years, starting as the entertainment editor on her university newspaper. Since then she's written for Popwrapped, Maximum Pop, Celebmix, and ListenOnRepeat.

Lisa loves all good music, with particular fondness for Jedward and David Bowie. She's interviewed Edward Grimes (Jedward), Kevin Godley, Trevor Horn, Paul Young, Peter Cox (Go West), Brendan B Brown (Wheatus), Bruce Foxton (The Jam), among many many more. Lisa is also available for freelance writing - please email