New Band Of The Day #15: Tall Friend

tall friend

Debut EP Tawl Friend is out January 27th on Exploding in Sound Records. They’re set to release their full length debut Safely Nobody’s in August 2017

Who:  Charlie Pfaff (vox, baritone guitar, synth), Cale Cueller (Guitar), and Jesse Paller (drums).

What: Low key alternative rock (FFO: The Vaselines, Beat Happening, Forth Wanderers)

Where: Philadelphia, PA.

Why: We love them because never before has a band reminded us of metaphysical poet John Donne. Seriously. Compare the lyrics of their track ‘Termites’ to Donne’s classic ‘The Flea’.

‘Termites’: “I’ll become a big oak tree and / let the beetles eat their way through me and / when they’re done you’ll carve your name / ‘cause nothing can be like it was / before I met you and I felt your touch / (you laid your eggs in my stomach)”.

‘The Flea’: “Mark but this flea, and mark in this / How little that which thou deniest me is / It sucked me first, and now sucks thee / And in this flea our two bloods mingled be / Thou know’st that this cannot be said / A sin, nor shame, nor loss of maidenhead / Yet this enjoys before it woo / And pampered swells with one blood made of two / And this, alas, is more than we would do.”

Here both Pfaff and Donne use some grotesque natural imagery to explore the turmoil of relationships and sex. As a result, both are quite arresting, engrossing, and somewhat off putting too. Sounds like love to me.

Musically, Tall Friend are a low key trio who explore simple but affecting chord changes and melodies. The focus here really is the vulnerability of Pfaff’s vocals and her lyrics, which are both evocative and intimate in equal measure. Reminiscent of the lo-fi nature of Beat Happening or The Vaselines, although more personal and naked thematically, Tall Friend are a band that pour everything into the music they make. It’s regret, resignation, and life put to sound.

Upcoming shows:

01/30 – Brooklyn, NY @ Silent Barn w/ gobbinjr, Boosegumps & Slow Ref
02/13 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Pharmacy (solo) w/ Retail Space, The Vernes, Pop & Obachan & Blushed
03/14 – 03/19 – Austin, TX @ SXSW

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