hey hows it going? good glad to hear! so what brings you around today? oh, you like music, huh? well, you’ve come to an ok place to hear music. let me tell ya, you came around on the right day cause there’s this band out of boston called hallelujah the hils. ever hear of em? no? well thats too bad as i have been pushing them for years, but i wont hold that against you. they got a brand new record out called a band is something to figure out, and its brilliant. oh this is embarrassing, i lied a little bit cause its not actually out until april 12, but you can hear a few tracks from it right here and right fucking now. let me be absolutely frank with you, and cut the bullshit, hallelujah the hills are the best band on the planet, that havent broken up. oh you doubt that do you? let me ask you this. do you like hooks that burrow into your brain, and almost never leave? do you like cryptic lyrics and references that you may not necessarily get, but are oddly relateable? do you like horns? i could keep asking questions, but i can see you may be growing tired of this sort of thing. if you answered yes to any of those questions then your new favorite band is hallelujah the hills – this was kind of like a buzzfeed thing.
a band is something to figure out, as of right now, is my favorite record of the year. lets get our collective shit together, people, vote for trump and get ready to have hallelujah the hills fill up those pretty little ear holes with what i like to refer to as musical tacos. so awesome, you can never get enough. here is the third single off a band is something to figure out “the girl with electronics inside.”
buy a band is something to figure out via bandcamp
is they or arent they the best band on the planet? that is the question that often runs through my head when i am devouring their catalogue, which is quite often. then there are times when im listening to say hallelujah the hills or the roadside graves, and i still return to thinking they are. richmond fontaine, obviously the band in question, has a deeper back catalogue which is as strong as hulk hogan. they got a new one out called you cant go back if there’s nothing to go back to. to quote forrest gump, “richmond fontaine is like a box of chocolates, you never know which one you’re gonna get.” im pretty sure he said that at some point. thematically they have always been all over the board, but within the same kind of genre. their last record the high country was a dark and pretty depressing concept record, thirteen cities sounded like it was written/recorded on and about some texarkana town, the fitzgerald was a very sparse and mostly acoustic record, post to wire was straight up alt-country, and all the others traveled different musical landscapes. lyrically there has always been willy vlautin’s cast of characters, some good, some indifferent, but mostly filled with folks that most of us would not want to deal w on a daily basis or ever. still, i, strangely, found a connection with these cast of ne’er-do-wells cause most of us are one or two bad decisions from being in a lot of these situations. the one thing i have always loved about richmond fontaine is that there is a complete cohesion within the music. sure willy’s lyrics/stories/characters are in the forefront, but the rest of the gang are responsible for setting the mood to these songs which they have always done brilliantly and effortlessly.
their latest and final record, sadly, you cant go back if there’s nothing to go back to is really a culmination of all their records, but still sounding like a fresh richmond fontaine release. this doesnt sound like a record that is a finality, but more like a band at the top of their game. if you’re a richmond fontaine fan then obviously you should love this record, if you have never listened to em, this is strangely a good place to start. normally farewell records are kinda meh, but this is as good as any of their previous releases. everything is here, everything one would want from willy and company. richmond fontaine is dead, long live richmond fontaine. thanks for everything! best of 2016 without a doubt.
buy you cant go back if there’s nothing to go back to via bandcamp
if you know anything about me, you then know my love for hallelujah the hills knows no bounds. both have ever done something evil and no one knows what happens next were my favorite records from 2014 and 2012, respectively. without a doubt they are one of the greatest bands currently making music.
“devil level zero” is off the juvenile oratorios ep, which you can get if purchase the vinyl via re-vinyl records or at any of their shows – dates below. for the record, “devil level zero” may be the best early days guided by voices song that pollard never wrote. oh, the fun begins tonight so make sure you check em out for me, and yourself!
march 6 – boston, ma @ the paramount
with the new highway hymnal
march 27 – brooklyn, ny @ the bell house
with mr. adam schatz (landlady solo)
march 28 – winooski, vt @ the monkey house
april 24 & 25 – buffalo, ny @ the sportsmen tavern
with the sheila divine
may 9th – portland, me @ bunker brewing company
with foam castles
today, im just doing my favorite record of the year, and it really should come as no surprise to anyone. that may be assuming way too much, but i have talked about this record a lot whether it be here, twitter, facebook, etc… i love this record as if it was my own stepchild. admittedly, my first go around with have you ever done something evil as not all what i expected. i wanted to be blown away, but i was left a little flat. maybe it was my mood, my expectations, my soberness or too much beer? who the hell knows? this was my problem, not theirs, though. i wrote a drunken ramblings piece on it back in may which pretty much sums everything up, in a absolutely incoherent way. feel free to read that or dont, it dont matter. what does matter is that this is the finest record i have heard this year, last year, and maybe the last 5 years? its pretty much as close to perfect as any band/artist could ever hope to get.
oh, so im going to finish up top twenty in two more posts probably later this week.
its just about june, and i think i have been doing this halfway point top 5 for more than a few years now. im a little early on a couple of these records aka centro-matic and the strand of oaks, but trust me they are worth the wait. there are a bunch of records coming out, or are already out, that may blow all of this all up. but here on may 29 here are my top 5 records of 2014, thus far. EDIT: i realize that i am a bit early on the whole “midway” point thing. eh who gives a shit?
hallelujah the hills….. so here we are again. your 2012 record, no one knows what happens next, ended up at number 3 on my favorite records of that year. looking back, knowing what i know now about that record, it maybe should’ve been number one. you know why? i still listen to it all the fucking time. here’s their deal, you may listen to one of their records, once. thats fine, you do whatever you want, but if you’re paying attention at all, you’ll realize something is there, and you’ll keep coming back. they make music that is equivalent to crack. i have never tried crack, but ive seen some documentaries, so im pretty much an expert. that first listen, it will burrow into your brain, or soul, or wherever you keep the precious. you probably wont even realize that it has happened, and thats the beauty of hallelujah the hills. that first time, you may not be impressed, but theres that hook, or lyric that will bring you back. then from there, its not one lyric, its 10, its not one hook, but 20…. this has been my experience with this band. their newest, and definitely greatest, have you ever done something evil, admittedly took about 3/4 listens to understand and its no way as immediately as “accessible” as “no one…” but its in the fucking sauce! they are not a band you’re just going to throw on for a good time, even though its a hell of a ride, they just aint that kind of band. ryan walsh is a master lyricist, his lyrics may seem to mean nothing, sometimes at least, but they can absolutely crush you. you can look at it, and so “oh thats nice” or look a little longer, and be like “holy shit!” i think i said last year that they were hitting their stride, but with this record, i will say they are pulling away from just about every band out there. if it doesnt continue to be and end up my favorite record of the year, i would be so very very very surprised.
this apparently premiered on spin early today. all i have to say is c’mon ryan who reads spin?!?!?!?!? still saying this is my favorite record of the year, but a new record was brought to me today that, honestly, will probably overthrow it.
what we have here is the new hallelujah the hills record, or at least the announcement. its called have you ever done something evil and is due out on 5.13. you can pre-order it here via their bandcamp page. im not saying its their best record to date, but im also not not saying that.