Friday, March 31, 2006

Albums Round-Up 2006: Tilly and the Wall - Wild Like Children

Tilly and the Wall - Wild Like Children
Technically, this was released in 2004 - but that was in the States, so we don't care. Here, Tilly and the Wall present their first UK offering, with a second to follow soon. Hailing from the fair old state of Nebraska, this girl-boy group specialise in bittersweet jangle-pop with a folky edge, whilst retaining one distinctive quality: they have no drummer. Instead, they rely on the clattering feet of tap dancer Jamie Williams to provide rhythm, and believe it or not, it actually works. So Tilly and the Wall's stomping tunes are quite literally that - stomping. But the band aren't one-trick ponies. The presence of Williams might seem like a gimmick, but when it's patched together with sweet-tooth melodies and a slightly dissonant tone, the end result is a most delightful racket. Songs like 'Reckless' and 'The Ice Storm, Big Gust and You' are both plaintive and blithe, calling to mind groups such as The Pipettes, a lo-fi Rilo Kiley, or nineties Britpop protagonists Bis. The vocals of Neely Jenkins and Kianna Alarid are particular highlights, replete with a soulful, old-country sweetness that comes fresh from the Great Plains themselves. They're properly homespun, this lot. They still need to hone their sound - it doesn't always work at times, and comes across as hashed - but with their follow-up album (Bottoms of Barrels) due in May, they certainly have the chance.

MP3: 'The Ice Storm, Big Gust and You'.