Some albums cry out for comparisons to other albums and artists, especially those from newer artists who have yet to establish a signature sound. “Man of Stone,” the latest release from Tall Heights, is one of those.
Imagine Simon and Garfunkel meet Pink Floyd. Seriously.
With incredibly tight harmonies, minimalist production elements and an overall sound that can be eerily laid back, the duo of Tim Harrington and Paul Wright venture into areas most artists would be best-served by avoiding. The result is a hauntingly beautiful menagerie of folk songs that are carried by carefully crafted lyrics, vocals, acoustic guitar and cello.
Just three years ago the two were playing for tips in Boston’s Faneuil Hall Marketplace. Since then they have managed to release two EPs and have amassed a dedicated fan base by playing gigs as diverse as small listening rooms to a showcase at South By Southwest. “Man of Stone” is their first full-length album.
Tight harmonies and what can be dark, fateful music intertwine with stories that are hopeful, yet mournful. “Out of the Ground” tells the story of a man done in by pride: “What a foolish way of abandoning all that you tried;” but looking toward the future: “Yes in all of the ways I bury myself /I am rising up out of the ground.”
“Learn Again” explores the hope and desire new love brings, tempered by the fact that other lessons in life have thus far gone unlearned. “I never read my lesson books/like others did” sets the stage for a man who finds himself lovestruck, vowing to finally learn: “Sometimes I forget to do the things that lovers do/I’ll learn again to fall in love with you.”
Harrington and Stone are masters of revealing reflective moments, details easily overlooked. What others might dismiss as random observations they embrace with profound self-awareness.
And so it goes with “Man of Stone.” Loss replaced with hope. Pride with regret. The result is a trip that explores the human soul through a musical journey every bit as complicated and wondrous as our inner depths.
Tall Heights perform at Secret Society in Portland on Oct. 8. Concert details →