Getting there is half the fun, as the old saying goes, but the journey is really the whole point for Boston progressive-folk duo Tall Heights. And singer/guitarist Tim Harrington and singer/cellist Paul Wright have had one hell of a journey, starting from playing simple acoustics on the streets of Boston to reaching Sony Music Masterworks, for which they are releasing their biggest, brightest, and riskiest work thus far. Neptune (due out August 19, 2016) is the band’s latest step in the ongoing evolution of their sound and style.
A series of YouTube videos, each one more precious than the last, paint Minneapolis’ Savannah Smith as a ukulele-slinging Jack Johnson disciple—particularly in an adorable take on “Bitter Heart” by Zee Avi (who’s on Johnson’s Brushfire Records), aided by some smirking, unofficial sign language from her roommate. But the seriousness Smith shows when performing her own songs, like the punchy “Ventriloquism,” nicely balances her jazz-informed cooing and displays a talent for lyrical density that raises her simple melodies. [AV Club, January 2011]