Wednesday, April 25

Werewolves in Their Youth

I was silly once. I remember sharing a joint with a couple of friends in the university, and like most defiantly naughty deeds, it was done, the smoking, under a tree, sitting on the grassy ground, buzzing bugs circling our heads like halos. We giggled mostly. Giggled and giddily ate crackers. And then we started running. In circles. All over.

“Let’s pretend that we’re Vietnamese girls and we were being chased by G.I. soldiers,” F said, already getting ahead, lifting up his imaginary skirt. We had just seen Heaven and Earth.

And so we did. For hours it felt like. Laughing and stumbling, circling the tree like insects. Buzzed.

I miss it. Guiltless abandon. Relaxed rebellion. And I had almost forgotten how that felt like.

"I laid on my back, let the punk record spin
The sloppy guitar, it was shooting out stars
It all went to my heart, yeah some rainbows in the dark

Beautiful, innit? Tilly and the Wall's growing pains and misbehaving is anything but rock and roll dumb cool. No drug-dazed walking dead fuck ups. No sunshiny languishing either. It's clever without being precious; incisive without plans. I'm a lyric kind of guy and the kilometric strings of words---practically streets of stories---are a pleasure to explore with quick turns to rousing disobedience and hidden alleys to heartbreaks.

Musically, it's still Bright Eyes meets Rilo Kiley with tap dancing for percussion though everything is bigger on this second album. Bigger harmonies, bigger sound, bigger choruses. The stomping, clapping and tap dancing are more delirious in the soaring riffs and tiptoes on the slow burners.

"So I thank the city, the lights that it's spinning
The friends that I have and the shoes we’re not shining."

If there's anything that being in my thirties taught me, it's to inject a little silliness in everything: work, love, the books I read, the music I listen to, the memories I choose to guard.

Tilly and the Wall is a feral celebration of our youth. Invincible to irony. Enthusiastic in crumpled clothes. Exultant as we race down the street. Or run in circles. It doesn't really matter.

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