For this month’s ChicagoVerseUniteD cover story, every day in January will preview 2012 plans for a Chicago talent or tastemaker. Today: In Tall Buildings!
Though In Tall Buildings, the indie operation of Erik Hall, saw an admirable year in 2011, including releasing a two-track single on Record Store Day and performing at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, the act didn’t release a full length record last year. That won’t be the case in 2012, however, as Hall tells CVU.
“I’ll be tracking the remainder of the new In Tall Buildings album during the month of January,” the singer songwriter informs of his plans. “If you’re reading this, I’m probably hunkered down in my chilly Pilsen apartment with a hat and sweater, slowly creating a giant intricate knot of XLR cables that I’ll spend the month of February unraveling.”
Given that ITB’s self-titled full length dropped in 2010, it would make sense that its follow up would showcase artist growth on Hall’s part, two years later. “There are some marked differences between this upcoming album and the first album,” Hall reveals. “The first record was basically a glorified portfolio of what I came up with over the course of a couple years recording at home. As a result, it was a bit all over the place, both sonically and compositionally. While this new record will be no less ranging in terms of sounds and colors, it will be more focused in the songwriting. I’m setting out with a more cohesive vision for how I want the album to feel overall, and I’m writing songs that are just a couple notches closer to pop music.”
Hall states that he plans to track the record at his house, though the effort is far from a solo one. “This time around it’s not necessarily the Erik Hall Show from start to finish,” the ITB frontman emphasizes. “Matt Ulery came by a few weeks ago to play some bass, and Quin Kirchner will be coming over to record a couple of his drum parts that he’s been playing live for a while. Other friends will be here at some point to play some horns and do some singing. Whatever the songs need, really.”
Though the next ITB record doesn’t have a set release date as of yet, Hall affirms it will “definitely” drop “in 2012 sometime.” Watch for more on that album at this site, and find live MP3s from ITB’s Halfway House session, as well as a live performance of “The Way to a Monster’s Lair” from Giant System, all following Hall’s CVU podcast interview from Record Store Day 2011.
(Additional reporting by Jessica Rose for CVU)