By Adam Lovinus
By Lilledeshan Bose
By Gabriel San Roman
By Rachel Mattice
By Stephanie Zacharek
By Daniel Kohn
By Nate Jackson
By Mike Seeley
I've always wondered what really drove Saddle Creek records poster boy Conor Oberst to name his own label Team Love. I mean, really? Worst. Name. Ever. But ahem, tangents aside, Tilly & the Wall's debut full-length, Wild Like Children, was the first release from Oberst's Team Obvious label. And now that that's out of the way: I've also wondered what Rilo Kiley thought when their pal Conor signed a band that kind of sounds like them (except on lots and lots of uppers)—sans the fact there's really no one star songstress in Tilly. There is, however, a tap dancer for percussion, lots of bells, a flute, fantastic sing-and-clap-along-around-the-campfire-worthy choruses, keys, and a gratuitous dosage of tambourine and the shaker. The end result is something like a delicious hybrid of a children's song hour, folk and twee pop rock—and a damned fun live performance to boot.
This past May, Tilly & the Wall released their second full-length, Bottoms of Barrels, which has turned out to be every bit as fun as their debut. Produced by Mike Mogis (who else, right?), the same ridiculously cheerful Tilly sound is still intact, but the lyrical content differs—while the first dabbled in stuff like love, dancing and teenage antics ("Touching each other, oh my god/Yeah and forty ounces was never enough/We want to pass out in your yard, we want to pass out"), Barrels is a tad bit more mature, veering toward the shaky Oberst-esque vocals on "Love Song."
So, Tilly & the Wall: a tap dancer, sing-alongs and, overall, just really happy, dance-y music—which, actually, kind of sort of puts them ahead of the Jenny Lewis Band (oh, I so went there) for the time being.
Tilly & the Wall with Now It's Overhead and Jason Anderson at the Glass House, 200 W. Second St., Pomona, (909) 629-0377; www.theglasshouse.us. Fri., 7 p.m. $10-$12. All ages.