TENTS is a comfort-pop quartet for those looking for light in the darkness. The band formed in Portland, Oregon when songwriter Brian Hall (vocals, keyboards), a successful advertising composer, became disenfranchised with creating corporate music and recruited his wife, Amy Hall (backing vocals), to accompany him in the pursuit of a more enriching creative outlet. The band was completed with the addition of guitarist Christopher Hall (no relation) and drummer Josh Brine, yet its formation coincided with a rolling series of tribulations – Amy underwent spinal surgery, while Brian experienced a series of health problems culminating in a cancer diagnosis – punctuated by the brightness of the Halls’ adopted parenthood. In the midst of all of this, improvising in the backyard with Tents created an oasis of joy for its members. Brian explains, “In the midst of pain, just beneath the surface there is so much beauty… When I’m able to process something that gives me pain, when I feel genuine joy as I process it, that’s nourishing to people.” On TENTS’ debut LP, Deer Keeps Pace, the band aims to “effect change and communicate very directly with people.” According to Hall, “I have a lot of positive energy in general to radiate.”
That positive energy is abundant throughout Deer Keeps Pace, which the band recorded in Brian’s backyard studio. “Back Yards,” for example, is melancholic as Brian confronts his self-damaging behavior prior to getting sick; weaved in, however, are signs of rehabilitation and perseverance (“Tell my baby I’ll always be around”). “Danger” is an indie jam that reassures listeners afraid of chasing their dreams, while the tender “Shoulder to Shoulder” provides comfort for both those in need and their loved ones and “Light Light Weight” speaks of self-acceptance without fear of judgment or disapproval. TENTS strive to capture the sanctity they’ve found in each other and share it with whoever will listen, assuring us that putting our arms around others for support makes us all stronger.
“Magic spouts effortlessly through this music. It feels like a bunch of kids laughing and shouting from the recesses of a playground, inviting the cynics and the skeptics and the wallflowers to join the fun.” –Consequence of Sound
“Blending strong lyricism, flowing melodies, and unfeigned vocals…, the group showcases what it looks like to live in the moment.” -The Spill
RIYL: Grizzly Bear, Local Natives, Sir Sly, Atlas Genius
Recommended Tracks: Track 1, “Back Yards,” Track 2, “Danger,” Track 4, “Light Light Weight,” Track 6, “Shoulder To Shoulder”
Label: Badman Recording Company
Going For Adds 4/16 & 4/17