Tilly and the Wall: Heavy Mood

Tilly and the Wall
Heavy Mood
(Team Love)

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Every fan of an underground band dreads the album that launches their beloved artists into the mainstream, toward the frightening land of sold-out shows and unattainable Ticketmaster fees, and with Heavy Mood, it looks like lift off might be just around the corner for Tilly and the Wall. Their latest album is full of “Pot Kettle Black”-like anthems calling all listeners to rise up and challenge the evil of the world to a dance-off. With the beat on their side as much as ever, I don’t see many declining their invite.

Unique percussion has always been a trademark of the tap dance-loving group, and it remains a stand-out part of Heavy Mood with syncopated rhythms, complex clapping patterns, and – never before heard on a Tilly and the Wall track – a real, live drum set. While the tap dance-heavy album Wild Like Children introduced the group to the indie rock scene as a sort of musical summer romper, sewn together with loner buttons, ribbon scraps, and lots of love, the band’s introduction of the drum set transforms their sound on Heavy Mood into something more like an expensive Anthropologie sweater. The homemade quirkiness is ever-present, it just comes across as a little more expensive – and a little more grown up.

Must-hear tracks include “Hey Rainbow,” almost a reinterpreted version of their beautiful ballad “Lost Girls,” and “Defenders,” whose fight-for-your-life chorus is reminiscent of “Night of the Living Dead” if the song included a chorus of rowdy kids (which this one does, and it’s awesome).

The band sets out on their international tour this month, so see them while you can, or you might soon be dreading the day you didn’t score Tilly tickets on Ticketmaster.

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