Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Pitstop: Town Hall


My discovery of Brooklyn folk trio Town Hall was the dual effort of Sam over at Middle Class White Noise and Eardrums. While I had seen that Sam had wrote about them over on his blog when I saw them over at Eardrums I knew they were serious business.

And it's not hard to see why. Taking a peek at their five song Sticky Notes & Paper Scraps EP they released early this year, there type of songwriting is very fitting of their band name - bringing together a diverse set of characters with rich, intriguing stories. "Mary A. Longden", which might very well be my favorite track for the trio, pairs a sort of supernatural storyline with some very real, though superficial concerns.

"Mary A., Mary A Longden, the only woman who never died", the songs first lines quickly establishes the oddness of the tale before "'cause all the women want to know how she keeps her skin so smooth, what pills does she take, what creams does she use every morning" takes the wonder down to a realistic level. Grounds it in reality. And that's what makes the track - Town Hall pairs the strangeness of the characters with a kind of quirky acceptance of the fact. The tale is a bit tall but by acknowledging that, in the song no less, it shows that they're at least aware of it.

Town Hall make small town murmurs into a songwriting staple, elevating rather small actions into fully realized music moments. That along with the group's obvious instrumental talent and very distinct voices makes them highly worthy of your attention. Their debut full length Roots & Bells adds more to the trio's pre-established character studies. They may not be real but all of their tunes ring with an unmistakable aura of truth. Their writing is sincere, their tunes catchy, their characters well written, their instruments well-played and that's what makes Town Hall a pretty great folk act. So start paying attention because it doesn't look like they're going away anytime soon.

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