You're never supposed ask an artist what his or her favorite song is—that's like asking a parent to name his or her favorite child. Yet, TENTS frontman Brian Hall is quick to offer up his favorite cut from his band's debut EP. It's "Lilly."
"It's about our experience meeting our daughter and ya we like it!" he exclaims. As the co-founder of Marmoset and a prolific composer for the licensing agency, TENTS is his latest musical side project—at least one that he's taking all the way to the stage—and it includes his wife Amy Hall on vocals and percussion, Chris Hall on guitars (no relation!), and Josh Brine on drums with Brian Hall providing keys and vocals.
"This track, called 'Lilly,' is about the process of adopting my second child," Hall begins. "The darker, more chaotic sections of the song reference the experience of infertility, and the initial intensity of the adoption process. The brighter, more hopeful and tender moments (namely the chorus) reference the experience once we worked through the initial process and were able to enjoy her and know her and experience her to the fullest."
Full of Gibbard-esque Death Cab for Cutie vibes, the emotive "Lilly" harnesses an intense beauty as the second track on Back Yards, an EP that was truly "written and recorded in our backyard studio," the band writes on Bandcamp. "Conceptually this album is broad. It's very autobiographical to some extent. It tends to deal with the internal battle between cynicism and optimism. The album title, Back Yards, is a metaphor for home, family and contentment."
"The chords and guitars and the basic melody that you hear were all improvised in my backyard studio with Chris, our guitarist, and Josh, our drummer," Hall continues. "The lyrics were written after the fact. Amy, our other vocalist, and myself are married so this is a song that is very personal to both of us."
Home and music seem to be synonymous for TENTS. The spaces are blurred, intrinsically intertwined. Hall's backyard studio is the same space where he works composing and where the band practices. "There is often little distinction between practicing, recording, producing, and so forth," he says.
In July, TENTS plan to "temporarily completely forsake the 'album' structure and start releasing one song a month," Hall explains. Documenting the entire process, "we'll be producing video content as well."