- Category: Music for Mondays
- Published on Monday, 23 July 2012 13:07
- Written by Chris
Omaha is, as everyone knows, the cosmic forge that fuses the heavy elements of rock and roll together. That and Warren Buffett. But we're not talking about having more money than god. We're talking about free-range, grass-fed alt-pop rock. We're talking about Tilly and the Wall.
When I say that Omaha is a forge of rock acts, I'm not entirely joking. Bright Eyes (subject of an upcoming M4M), The Faint, Rilo Kiley (another future M4M), a surprising amount of underground hip-hop, an entire heavy-metal genre called screamo, have at one time or another been 'Omaha' acts.
Until a band is fused into a stable element, the protons, neutrons, electrons, and drummers momentarily come together. They'll play together for awhile, until a free radical pulls away from electrons, or a the guitarist's girlfriend goes down on the bassist's girlfriend, causing fission and the element flies apart like so many bosons in a super-collider. The sub-atomic particles that came to be Tilly and the Wall came together when several local Omaha bands imploded, along with others that went on to form Bright Eyes. Their first performance was at open mic, making them a rare open mic success story. (Yes, many successful indie acts did do the open mic thing, but they are outliers. You aren't making it off of open mic night because you lack their talent, luck, perseverance, and connections.)
While there are many intangibles that make Tilly and the Wall worth listening to, there are also some tangibles. Specifically, their secret weapon, tap dancer Jamie Presnall in place of a drummer. Importantly, this does not make them sound like a pop-tempo Riverdance. In fact, to the untrained ear (i.e. mine) the difference is subtle. I did pick up on the absence of a traditional percussion, but I didn't catch that it the ol' twinkle toes for quite awhile. Although, after I realized the fact, it was very obvious.
Like many of the acts I've profiled on M4M, Tilly and the Wall likes to infuse dark lyrics with poppy melodies. Grok these from Rainbows in the Dark:
Then I met a man with a fist for a hand
Held me flat on my back, taught me how to give in
Some phrases were shot, pretty roses got tossed
The gift of a fat-lipped grin
Now they're drilling my teeth while I'm soiling sheets
With my lover, she's counting the diamonds on rings
And even when truth doesn't help with the sting
Out of no numbers, some harsh looking colour
So there you have it, an Omaha steak-worth of indie-pop deliciousness. Also, their band name comes from a children's book. Go get 'em.
Official site: officialtillyandthewall.tumblr.com
I am not sure why there are no better versions of this song online. Falling Without Knowing has been their biggest hit thus far; you'd think they'd have a video or at least a good bootleg somewhere. Or maybe my Google-fu is no good.