Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Each and every Friday we deliver songs by local artists. Today’s selection, featured on the Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is “Allied Lions” by Hallelujah The Hills from the 2009 album Colonial Drones on Misra.
Any band named after a cult classic film better be musical geniuses or have one killer personality. Named after Adolphus Mekas’ 1963 comedy, Boston’s Hallelujah the Hills can proudly claim both between their satirical aura and influential instrumentation. Uprooted from the collapse of Boston indie rock band the Stairs in 2004, singer/songwriter/guitarist Ryan Walsh and drummer Eric Meyer couldn’t give up the fun of performing and formed Hallelujah the Hills a month later. Before long, the boys recruited a celloist, an organ player, a trumpet/trombone player, and a bassist player (and now a new drummer replacing Meyer) completing the off-kilter, power pop six-piece.
Compared to everything from Neutral Milk Hotel and the Pixies to The Decemberist and especially Guided By Voices, it’s obvious HTH hasn’t dramatically reinvented the wheel. They have, however, managed to perfect the crunchy guitar and brash keys of the 90s with the floating brass countermelodies and jaded double-tracked voice sound of the indie 2000s. They’re could be called Guided By Noise if anything. Their second album Colonial Drones is all about texture and layers which emphasizes Walsh’s cool lyrical brashness. “Allied Lions” is perhaps the most intense tune on the 13 song album, and second longest stretching out over six minutes.
The band toured extensively last year, so they’re probably hunkering down for the time being. You should probably keep checking their website and Facebook page, though, in case they decide to hit the road again in 2010. For now, and since a live performance of “Allied Lions” has yet to make its way on the Web, check out the ridiculous official music video of “Blank Passports”: