The first band to release an album on Conor Oberst's super-cute new label, Team Love, Tilly and the Wall have an easily targeted and catchy gimmick that sets them apart from other bands: a tap dancer.
Tilly and the Wall are two guys and three girls. Two of the girls, Neely Jenkins and Jamie Williams, played with Oberst in a high school band called Park Ave.
Tilly's songs are adolescent, poppy and irresistibly fun. Apparently, they enjoy collaborating on interviews and got together to e-mail responses to these five questions.
1. Describe the benefits/drawbacks of having a tap-dancer in the band.
Tilly and the Wall: We feel like it's visually appealing to watch a dancer perform, and the taps give us a percussive backdrop different from standard drums. Tap-dancing also challenges us to be creative in our arrangements and challenges the listener's idea of what is acceptable in music. Plus, it sets us apart from other bands. The only drawback is the difficulty of mic-ing the taps.
2. Who's the strongest member, physically?
T&W: Derek's physically the strongest, but if it came down to a fight, you might get a silver tap shoe in your face from Jamie.
3. What sort of surface does Jamie dance upon? Does it ever change? Does Jamie ever break out into sudden dance? Has she ever been in a tap-off or a tap-dance fight?
T&W: Jamie taps on a metal street sign that is taped to the top of a hollow wooden box. We mic the opening of the box for the low-end sound and the top of the sign for the high-end sound. We all bust out into dance, and we all fantasize about there being a tap-off someday.
4. What the heck has Neely been doing since Park Ave.?
Neely: I've been teaching elementary students, singing in my car, and waiting for something like the Tilly kids to come into my life and rock my world.
5. What's in your pockets?
Nick: Keys, matches, coins, lots of receipts, a telephone, my license.
Derek: Coins, my wallet, bills (separate from both coins and the wallet) and a guitar pick.
Kianna: Candy wrapper (that's it).
Neely: Lyrics to a new song.
Jamie: (Jamie is at home sick, but we have her purse, and in it we found a passport, postcards from Wyoming, tons of things-to-do lists, sunglasses, make-up, Raise High the Roof Beams Carpenters, medicine, an old My Morning Jacket ticket and a telephone).
Love, Tilly and the Wall.
Tilly and the Wall dance and sing for Now It's Overhead and Rilo Kiley at the Epicentre, 7 p.m. on Oct. 29. $12. 858-271-4000.