Yes is the answer
Seward Park - Grand Hallway
On its Myspace page, Grand Hallway compares its sound to "echoes in a grand hallway," which you could read as brand reinforcement. And if you're a music blogging geek who spends too much time thinking about such things, you could also pause to consider if the name or the description came first -- if the band set out with that vague, romantic notion of making music that sounds like echoes in grand hallways. Or if in early rehearsals, as Tomo Nakayama's eerily sonorous, gender indeterminate vocals and alternately diffident and grandiose keys, and the band's stately plucked bass, rippling guitar textures and labyrinthine rhythms pointed irretrievably to something so old-fashioned and dignified, that they merely capitulated to the name. Either way, it's a snug fit. "Seward Park's" nostalgic lyrics evoke winding drives and grassy reclines, but its instrumentation infers the structure and formality of doors and floors and walls -- of massive, high-ceilinged, elaborately decorated structures that might hold both austere marble halls and a great gilt and trompe l'oeil-frescoed Palladian-style domed space. Beautiful rooms, spacious and solid enough to house a big, glorious crescendo of string quartet, dauntless, lapping piano and keening, frayed-rope voice, and not reduce to rubble.
The band will release its album Yes Is The Answer in Japan in April, but is currently seeking a US label. Hey, US labels, ya listening? You can stream another very good song called "Napoleon's Left Shoe" on Grand Hallway's Myspace.
Time Taunts Me - Lost In The Trees
So all day I'm feeling spacey and distracted, like I sometimes do when I've slept too much or taken a Sudafed. And I have no appetite for my chicken korma at lunch. I think maybe the flu is coming on, but on the way home from work, bounding the wet pavement and observing the trees dribble melting ice, I realize what it is: We are finally on the frozen-thawing cusp of spring. And I have been holding my breath all winter.
From Time Taunts Me (Preorder from Trekky Records).