As a music blogger, even one on the dusty edges of the blogosphere1, you have to get used to getting a lot of PR mails. And I mean lots. I get around 30 a day, and I know many bloggers who get up to ten times that. Picking music you might want to listen to can be a tough affair, especially when many of the emails are just basic mass-mailings, with no thought at all about what kind of music you clearly like. No, I am not interested in a mash-up of Lady Gaga and Rhianna. When the email has been written by someone, and it’s usually the band in this case, that has clearly read your blog, then there’s a much higher chance that you’re going to give the music a listen.
Which leads me to Town Hall. I had an email from them the other day, saying they’d enjoyed my posts on a couple of artists, and then saying their drummer is a huge Arsenal fan. That’s me won over then. Hailing from New York, armed with mandolins and the like, they make experimental folk. In previous years might have made me run the other way fearing a bunch of beardy hurdy-gurdy botherers yelping about Scarborough on acid, but as we all know, folk’s been where it’s at for a while, and, once you get through this interminably long sentence and listen to some of their songs, you’ll realise they’ve written songs of quite startling loveliness, like “Just Watching My Breath”:
“Alright” takes the psych-folk of Grizzly Bear and makes tricksy time signatures, the Lydian mode and odd breakdowns a charming listen:
You know what? Despite getting a million and one emails a day, and the incipient guilty feelings of not listening to 99% of them, I’m glad PR and bands make the effort when you get to hear stuff like this.
The band have a Bandcamp here where you can buy their first EP “Sticky Notes and Paper Scraps”, and check out their website filled with photos and stuff here. I look forward to hearing more from them over the year.
1 Or whatever it’s called this week