In Tall Buildings Presents Multi-faceted Music

. March 27, 2018.
Nomo Co-founder returns to Ann Arbor for solo gig (photo: Aleks Eva)
Nomo Co-founder returns to Ann Arbor for solo gig (photo: Aleks Eva)

Get ready for Erik Hall, a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who blends distant sounds under the name In Tall Buildings, to bring his innovative music on April 5th to The Blind Pig. “Curtain,” the lead single off his new album, Akinetic, features a Moog synthesizer arpeggiation that locks in with a finger-picked pattern on acoustic guitar. It’s a compelling mix of tones, and a good bellwether for what follows. Throughout the album, synthetic and organic instrumentation interweave beneath Hall’s silky soft vocals, somewhat in the fashion of indie-rock band The Postal Service.

“I love mixing worlds and combining disparate elements because of the complexity of what you end up with,” he says. “Sonically, it’s very rich. There’s a lot of depth when you have some element that’s completely synthetic — really heavily manipulated — and it’s juxtaposed right alongside a totally natural-sounding instrument. That excites me as a listener.”

Inspired by Radiohead

Hall’s guiding light, in that regard, is Radiohead’s more experimental moments. “To me, they’re one of the greatest bands ever,” he says. “They continue to put out completely top-caliber art. They’re compelling as they’ve ever been, and they do that really well.”

Hall has always taken a multifaceted approach to music: He studied classical piano during childhood and played percussion for the Chicago Youth Symphony in high school (and guitar in a rock band on the side). In 2003, he co-founded experimental jazz fusion group Nomo, which went from gigging in basements around Ann Arbor to touring the world and released its sixth and most recent album in 2009.

These days, Hall earns a living through his various musical projects. In Tall Buildings is his primary outlet as a songwriter, but he also actively tours as a supporting member of the genre-bending rock band Wild Belle – which includes members of Nomo – and dabbles in film-scoring, audio restoration and recording other bands on the side.

First album produced by someone else

Akinetic, the third In Tall Buildings’ record and follow-up to 2015’s Driver, was recorded over a two-year period with Chicago-based producer and engineer Brian Deck, whose previous work includes albums by Califone, Counting Crows and Iron and Wine.

“I had never seriously considered working with a producer on an In Tall Buildings album, but here he was asking if I wanted to,” Hall says. “I decided it would be a great to have input and direction from another creative mind that I really respect.”

During sessions in Hall’s home studio in Chicago, Deck focused mostly on the album’s densely layered instrumentation. He didn’t influence the album’s lyrical direction, which gravitated toward themes of connectivity and communication – or the lack thereof.

“There are a lot of barriers to communication these days,” Hall explains. “I’m more and more disheartened by the general level of awareness I see in people and in our culture. I think we’re in a new age of distraction, and when you’re distracted, you’re easily swayed. This album has a little bit of a darker outlook, admittedly.”

$8, 8pm, Thursday, April 5
208 S. First St., Ann Arbor
734-996-8555 | blindpigmusic.com

Trending

JUNGLEFOWL’S New EP ‘Secret Society’ (INTERVIEW)

The first time I heard JUNGLEFOWL, they knocked me out of my chair. It was 2015 and Melissa Coppola had sent me the tracks that would eventually be released as the debut EP for her new band with guitarist Stefan Carr–a power duo! But a power duo that I couldn’t place, in the best way–it

Doogatron Release Debut Album

Doogatron are inventive disciples of techno and house, creating textured synth-prog jams that blend machine-like precision with the human touch of improvisation. These 21st century torchbearers of Detroit’s electronic music fuse the old-school analog synthesizers with new-school digital technology. Their debut album comes out November 2nd… Doogatron Album Release Nov 2nd @ Ziggy’s with Jason Hogans (aka brownstudy) Sleezy

“All The Fragile Pretty Things…” Listening To The New Album by Little Traps

Little Traps might trick you. The intonation of acoustic guitars, sanguine pedal steel, brushy drums and tender vocalizations will bring you in close, make you sit down cross legged and ready yourself for the understated swoon of endorphins typically triggered by “folk music.” And you lean in closer…, a bit closer still. And those lyrics hit

Muse Atelier Vintage At 336 S. Ashley In Ann Arbor

Muse Atelier Vintage, a boutique featuring unique clothing items, accessories, and original artwork, is now open at 336 S. Ashley in Ann Arbor.