Arts & Culture

Tall Heights comes to the Creative Capital

Three-person indie group seeks larger venues following Boston debut, Conan O’Brien set

Contributing Writer
Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Tall Heights incorporates the heavy implementation of various pedals, amps and electronic devices in their folk electronica songs.

Boston band Tall Heights will perform today at 7 p.m. in Fête Music Hall in Providence. The three-person group is known for its quasi-alternative, consciously lesser-known folk electronica — or in cellist Paul Wright’s words “ethereal-soulful-folk-inspired-pop.” Comparable acts include Bon Iver, Sufjan Stevens and a plethora of anonymous underground bands generating fewer than 1,000 monthly Spotify subscribers. Thus, for its genre, Tall Heights garners immense listenership, as exemplified by the band’s recent appearance on “Conan.”

The band’s members are the celloist Wright, guitarist Tim Harrington and drummer Paul Dumas, who will tour with the band through November. In their emerging branch of progressive indie, beyond the raw instrumentals, production includes the heavy implementation of various pedals, amps and electric devices. The resulting stylized interpretation of an increasingly prominent genre appeals to a demographic of twentysomethings who consistently fill their smaller shows.

But for Wright­ — Dartmouth graduate, Hemingway fan and the band’s cello-keyboard-vocals man — success has a palpable aspect: Unsatisfied with consistent sell-outs in rooms capped at 200, he seeks to see crowds of 800 in big cities across the country. Spotify, though certainly controversial in the industry, actually aids Tall Heights in this objective. “What feels like success and sustainability is seeing people who like your music,” Wright said, adding that he’s “super grateful” for the way Spotify “got a ton of people listening to our music.”

In spite of “some big moments,” Wright does not consider any one specific breakthrough key to the band’s current success. But the performance on “Conan,” — seen by millions of people — was “crazy,” Wright said. He hopes to keep the “trend going positive” and sees their upcoming release tour as an exciting response to their most recent record, “Neptune”, which he describes as “a big step sonically away” from the band’s earlier work.

Tall Heights has been around since 2010, when Wright and Harrington started performing on the streets of Boston. In spite of his interest in biology, Wright knew from a young age that he wanted to become a musician after beginning to play cello at age nine. Wright  and Harrington wrote music independently until the duo formed Tall Heights once Harrington had finished studying creative writing at Holy Cross.

Though they played in Providence for Brown’s Folk Fest back in 2011, Wednesday will be their first local performance in a few years and serves as an accessible prelude for their upcoming release tour. Their new album is currently available on Spotify, and, as of Tuesday, tickets remain available at $12 for Wednesday’s performance at Fête.