#15 on the 2009 Musical Advent Calendar
Promenade by Grand Hallway
Tomo Nakayama is destined for big things. His band, Grand Hallway, totally floored me when I caught them live at a gig, opening for the band I had showed up to see. Floored. Jaw hit the floor, eyes bugged out, blown away but what I saw and heard. I’ve said before how much I’m a sucker for strings, specifically violins, in bands. This band has not one but full-time two violinists. Throw in the occasional banjo, accordion, pedal steel or grand piano and what you have is the potential for greatness. But potential will only get you so far.
It takes great songwriting, combined with great orchestration, to manage a band of that size. And Nakayama has it down. Just listen to the song above, “Blessed Be, Honey Bee,” from their sophomore release “Promenade.” Amazing, no? The band also has some interesting live recordings that you can see on YouTube, including this video for Raindrops that was recorded live at the Fremont Abbey, a church-cum-venue, where they played with a 30 piece orchestra including a childrens choir.
It’s bands like this that make me excited to live in Seattle. How often do you get to see bands like this come around in your city?
16. Grand by Matt & Kim
17. Blood Bank EP by Bon Iver
18. Fever Ray by Fever Ray
19. Tell ’Em What Your Name Is by Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears
20. Mo Beauty by Alec Ounsworth
21. Here Comes Science by They Might Be Giants
22. Noble Beast by Andrew Bird
23. Hungry Bird by Clem Snide
24. Actor by St. Vincent
25. Elvis Perkins in Dearland by Elvis Perkins in Dearland
26. XX by the XX
27. Grrr… by Bishop Allen
28. Keep It Hid by Dan Auerbach
29. It’s Blitz! by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs
30. Beware by Bonnie “Prince” Billie
31. Veckatimest by Grizzly Bear