Tilly and the Wall

Tomorrow’s music today


A technicolour ball of energy, this cute indie pop band from Omaha started making no-fi, unapologetically chirpy, folksy sounds in 2001. The band consists of three girls and two boys, with band member Jamie’s bouncy tap dancing taking the place of drumming. Pal Conor ‘Bright Eyes’ Oberst released first album, Wild Like Children, on his Team Love label. Singer/guitarist Derek Pressnall explains how things started.

Jamie, Kianna and Neely grew up with kids in the Omaha music scene including Conor. We weren’t setting up a band, we were just hanging out. Everyone wrote, everyone contributed. One of our first shows was opening for Rilo Kiley. We hung out and became friends. Working with friends is more comfortable. The band is fun for us, like an antidepressant. Our songs are like, ‘Yeah, life sucks sometimes, there’s lots of sad stuff, but we gotta keep on living!’

Second album, Bottom of Barrels, was recorded in a studio, not Conor’s garage like the first. How does it sound?

We’re fans of music that’s not too polished or perfect. Even in a studio, we try to keep it honest. If there’s mistakes, we’ll keep some of ‘em in. That’s where all the soul is.

What goes on at a live gig? That’s a whole other world, it’s magical, with so many dynamic things happening on stage. We encourage any behaviour - clapping, dancing, singing, whatever. As long as it’s not violent! We like to dress up. It’s a performance and we like the crowd to have fun. We’re basically trying to create an experience, some kind of electricity.

King Tut’s, Glasgow, Wed 21 Feb. Their single, ‘The Freest Man’ with ‘Sing Songs Along’ (Hot Chip remix) is released on Moshi Moshi Records on Mon 5 Mar.


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