In Tall Buildings, Fred Thomas, DJ Elliot Bergman | Schubas | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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In Tall Buildings

In Tall Buildings

In Tall Buildings, Fred Thomas, DJ Elliot Bergman 

When: Thu., March 5, 9 p.m. 2015
Price: $12
Maybe the most defining characteristic of local singer-songwriter Erik Hall’s sparse, focused catalog as In Tall Buildings is that the lush indie rock he creates all by his lonesome isn’t as lush as it lets on. Hall plays every instrument on the brand-new Driver (Western Vinyl)—which, in step with the genre’s rules and regulations regarding venue, was partially tracked in a 60s farmhouse in Leelanau County, Michigan—and he’s just as reliant on what happens in the negative space away from the subtle glide of his guitar and piano playing. Arrangements often feel desolate and eerie once you wade your way through the looping and bubbling effects noodled out by Hall in an effort to build an environment more devoted to psychedelics than to artisanal teas. Where an ambient instrumental track like “Aloft” would be an interlude for another singer-songwriter, it seems as important to Hall as any of his others—particularly when it leads into “Flare Gun,” a straightforward cut with some of Hall’s most wistful lyrics and hookiest hooks on the album. Please believe that less can be more; on Driver, Hall proves himself to be one of the city’s more innovative singer-songwriters. Tonight he’ll be backed by a band that features drummer Quin Kirchner, bassist Matt Ulery, and keyboardist Rob Clearfield. —Kevin Warwick

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