A little something from this side of the Atlantic for mid-week. Minneapolis Indie stalwarts Tapes n’ Tapes, recorded in concert at the 2006 Indian Summer Festival in Glasgow by the inimitable BBC 6 Music.
Formed in the winter of 2003 at Carleton College, the band has released four albums. First came the self-released Tapes ‘n Tapes EP in 2004, followed by the full-length release, The Loon, on Ibid Records in 2005. The band signed to XL Recordings and re-released The Loon on July 25, 2006. In October 2007 the band announced finishing recording of their second album, titled Walk It Off. Walk It Off was recorded by producer David Fridmann in his Tarbox Road Studio in Cassadaga, New York.The album was released April 8, 2008. The band’s most recent album, Outside, was released on January 11, 2011.
Tapes singer Josh Grier says their first album was recorded “…in the winter time at a cabin in the Wisconsin woods with no running water or toilet paper. It was a lot fun to do it on our own and get a little crazy, but it was also frustrating since we didn’t really know entirely what we were doing”
Tapes ‘n Tapes gained popularity after a series of write-ups on music blogs, first on EAR FARM then on sites such as Music For Robots and Gorilla vs. Bear, leading some to cite them as the most recognizable examples of a “blog band”. However, it wasn’t until The Loon received a favorable review from Pitchfork Media, including a “best new music” commendation, that the band started to find success. Tapes ‘n Tapes have been compared to such alternative bands as Pixies and Pavement, or the recent alt-pop phenomenon Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. After release of their self-titled EP, the band played with more well-known acts such as The Futureheads, The Streets, Metric, Calvin Johnson, and I Am the World Trade Center. The band made its American television debut on the Late Show with David Letterman on July 25, 2006, performing the song “Insistor.” In 2006 the band did a Take-Away Show video session shot by Vincent Moon. They also performed at the Siren Music Festival in July of that same year. Tapes ‘n Tapes performed at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in April 2007, along with bands such as Rage Against the Machine, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Björk.
Tapes ‘n Tapes’ musical style varies in tempo and in influence, ranging from fast-paced polka renditions to the slower, more blues-influenced songs. The publication Music Week described the band’s song “Insistor” as “Part country, part rock…possess[ing] an emotional urgency that rivals Arcade Fire. This is promising stuff.”
In case you missed this Indian Summer Festival gig in Glasgow from 2006, here’s your chance to get caught up. Crank it up and sit back.