Tilly and the Wall will be playing at Emo’s a week from Thursday. This distinctive Omaha indie pop group plays pretty little songs usually driven by acoustic guitar, piano, the tapdancing and clap-and-stomp percussion of drummer Jamie Presnall, and the ever present girl on girl harmonies infused in every tune. On their latest release, 2008’s O, the group expands upon their sound, adding in some electric guitar, horns, xylophones, and keyboards. In addition to their mostly sunny, funny, happy pop, the group also adds in a few harder edged numbers such as “Pot Kettle Black” and “Too Excited.” Other highlights from the album include the driving beat of “Blood Flower” and the drum loop and synthesizer drenched “Falling Without Knowing.”
I was turned onto the band by a fellow blogger whose girlfriend is a big fan of the band. The first song of theirs that I heard, “Lost Girls,” immediately hooked me. The song takes as its subject the well known outsider art project of Henry Darger. Darger, a janitor from Chicago who composed an epic 15,000 page novel titled The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What is known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinnian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion, also constructed elaborate and violent drawings and watercolor collages to illustrate his story, which have become the highest selling pieces of outsider art on the market. Tilly and the Wall’s melancholy but sweet treatment of the subject contributes to a pretty little pop song, and a good introduction to the band’s style. If you can handle the “cuteness” of the tapdancing, I think you’ll like the band as a whole.
“Lost Girls” (mp3 available for download by way of Pitchfork here)
“Pot Kettle Black” (yet another mp3 available for download by way of Pitchfork here)