Tilly and the Wall

Last updated
Tilly and the Wall
Tilly and the Wall live 20060301.jpg
Tilly and the Wall live at Debaser, Stockholm, Sweden
Background information
Origin Omaha, Nebraska, U.S.
Genres Indie pop, indie rock
Years active2001–2013
Labels Team Love, Dew Process, Moshi Moshi
Members Kianna Alarid
Neely Jenkins
Derek Pressnall
Jamie Pressnall
Nick White

Tilly and the Wall was an indie pop group from Omaha, Nebraska. Their name originated from a children's book called Tillie and the Wall , written by Leo Lionni. They are particularly noted for having a tap dancer, Jamie Pressnall, provide percussion, instead of a drummer. [1]



Formation and Wild Like Children

The group formed in 2001 after the demise of several Omaha groups, including Conor Oberst's Park Ave., of which Neely Jenkins and Jamie Pressnall (then Jamie Williams) were members. Jamie brought along Kianna Alarid from another band that broke up called Magic Kiss. Derek Pressnall and Nick White, natives of Dunwoody, Georgia were drawn to the music scene in Omaha, Nebraska and moved. [2] Nick White was also one of the few constants for Bright Eyes in 2005, appearing on I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning and Digital Ash in a Digital Urn , as well as touring worldwide with the band.

Their first show was an open-mic night at the now defunct Ranch Bowl. Their first release, Woo!, was recorded in Conor Oberst's garage, self-published, and distributed at shows around the Omaha area. The group released a limited-pressing eponymous 7" on Rue Royale Records, followed by their debut LP, Wild Like Children in 2004. It was the flagship release on Oberst's Team Love label and made with the help of Presto studios. Wild Like Children garnered the band a substantial amount of critical acclaim and propelled them to national tours with Bright Eyes, Rilo Kiley, and Of Montreal. In early 2005, Tilly and the Wall became the first "band in residence" at Omaha's Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, using the Bemis Underground's Studio T to develop their follow-up album to Wild Like Children.

In September of that year, they released "You and I Misbehaving" as a limited-pressing 7" in the UK through indie label Trash Aesthetics. This release picked up further critical acclaim as well as support from BBC radio broadcaster Steve Lamacq. They played their first show outside of the US at the Freebutt in Brighton on February 14, 2006.

Bottoms of Barrels

Bottoms of Barrels , the band's follow-up to Wild Like Children, was released on May 23, 2006. Tilly and the Wall appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman on October 27, 2006, to perform "Bad Education". The song was not played in full due to time constraints. A number of live dates were played to support the album. The band toured with Jenny Lewis in support of her album featuring The Watson Twins, Rabbit Fur Coat . They then went on their first headlining tour to promote Bottoms of Barrels, with acts such as David Dondero, Now It's Overhead, and Wolf Colonel supporting them. They played the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on April 27, 2007. In addition to performing at 2007's Splendour in the Grass festival, Tilly and the Wall toured Australia.

Band members Jamie Williams and Derek Pressnall were married shortly after the album's release, on August 12, 2006.


On February 25, Tilly and the Wall released a video for a new song entitled "Beat Control". The digital release of the song was on March 4, with a new album track "Cacophony" appearing as a b-side. "Beat Control" was released only as a single and was not included on the album released later in 2008.

Tilly and the Wall's third album, o , [3] was released on June 17, 2008. [4] Two songs they performed on their 2007 tour, "Too Excited" and "Chandelier Lake", appear on the album. The songs were played at their Daytrotter show. [5]

Tilly recorded their own version of the ABC song for the new season of Sesame Street .

The first single from the album was "Pot Kettle Black". It was featured in the pilot episode of 90210 , TV spots for the Seth Rogen film Observe and Report , [6] the film Whip It and its soundtrack album, and in the video game Midnight Club: Los Angeles .

Heavy Mood

Tilly and the Wall released a new album entitled Heavy Mood on October 2, 2012, available in CD and vinyl formats.

Band members



Singles and EPs




Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bright Eyes (band)</span> American indie rock band

Bright Eyes is an American indie rock band founded by singer-songwriter and guitarist Conor Oberst. It consists of Oberst, multi-instrumentalist and producer Mike Mogis, arranger, composer and trumpet and piano player Nate Walcott, and a rotating line-up of collaborators drawn primarily from Omaha's indie music scene. Between 1998 and 2011, the band's albums were released through Saddle Creek Records, a Nebraska-based label founded by Justin Oberst and Mogis. In January 2020, the band announced their return, having signed with Dead Oceans.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Saddle Creek Records</span> American record label

Saddle Creek Records is an American record label based in Omaha, Nebraska. Started as a college class project on entrepreneurship, the label was founded by Mike Mogis and Justin Oberst in 1993. Mogis soon turned over his role in the company to Robb Nansel. The label is named after Saddle Creek Road, a major street that cuts through Midtown Omaha, and the beginnings of a scene whose members included Justin's brother Conor Oberst, Tim Kasher, and others. Collectively, they were known unofficially as the "Creekers". Saddle Creek first appeared in print on a show flyer, offering to "Spend an evening with Saddle Creek" Saddle Creek became an incorporated entity as a result of a class project on entrepreneurship. Distribution is handled by Redeye Distribution.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Conor Oberst</span> American musician

Conor Mullen Oberst is an American singer-songwriter best known for his work in Bright Eyes. He has also played in several other bands, including Desaparecidos, the Faint, Commander Venus, Park Ave., Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band, Monsters of Folk, and Better Oblivion Community Center. Oberst was named the Best Songwriter of 2008 by Rolling Stone magazine.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Commander Venus</span> American indie rock band

Commander Venus was an American emo band from Omaha, Nebraska. Fronted by Conor Oberst and Tim Kasher, the band also included Todd Fink and Matt Bowen of The Faint, Ben Armstrong of Head of Femur and Robb Nansel, executive producer of the indie label Saddle Creek. Kasher subsequently went on to front the band Cursive, and Oberst later became famous as the core member of the indie folk collective Bright Eyes, and later the punk band Desaparecidos.

Team Love is an independent record label based in New Paltz, New York, founded by Conor Oberst and Nate Krenkel in 2003. It has released albums by several other recording artists. Team Love also released the documentary film by Roy Germano, The Other Side of Immigration. A distinguishing marketing tactic of Team Love has been complete albums for download in unprotected mp3 format at no cost on their website in addition to traditional record and CD sales. This practice evolved into what is now known as The Team Love Library.

Park Ave. was an indie pop band which started in January 1996 in Omaha, Nebraska.

<i>Wild Like Children</i> 2004 studio album by Tilly and the Wall

Wild Like Children is the debut album by Tilly and the Wall. The album was recorded in the basement of Steve Pedersen's house, and was the first release of Team Love Records. The CD-release party for the album was held in Omaha, Nebraska on July 3, 2004.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Trash Aesthetics</span>

Trash Aesthetics is a British independent record label founded in 2004 by Rob Fawkes and Claire Hewitson and active until 2014. Based in South London, it specialised in releasing limited-edition runs of singles by both local bands and international acts whose work is difficult to come by in the UK. Having started helping Rob and Claire with the label in 2007, Adam Killip took over running Trash Aesthetics in 2010.

Neely Jo Jenkins is a musician from Omaha, Nebraska best known for being a singer in the band Tilly and the Wall. She was also a member of the band Park Ave. with Tilly and the Wall bandmate Jamie Pressnall,. Previously, Jenkins sang "Contrast and Compare" and "Pull My Hair" with Bright Eyes on the album Letting Off the Happiness, and "Feb. 15th" on A Collection of Songs Written and Recorded 1995-1997.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Orenda Fink</span> Musical artist

Orenda Fink is an American singer, musician, and writer. Perhaps best known as half of the duo Azure Ray, Fink is also a member of Art in Manila, O+S, Closeness, and High Up, and has played with or appeared as a guest on records by Bright Eyes, Conor Oberst, Moby, The Faint, Pete Yorn, and others. She is married to Todd Fink of The Faint.

Kianna Marie Alarid is an American singer and bass-guitarist. She is the lead singer and co-writer of Yes You Are and singer and bass guitarist for the band Tilly and the Wall from Omaha, Nebraska. She was formerly in a band called Magic Kiss with members of Park Ave. and The Faint, and before that, a hardcore band called Project 356.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">A. J. Mogis</span> American guitarist

A.J. Mogis is a musician from North Platte, Nebraska. He currently plays bass guitar in the indie-rock band Criteria. His brother is Mike Mogis. Together, they founded Presto! Recording Studios and have recorded almost all the albums released by Saddle Creek Records as well as albums by friends' bands. They were also members of Lullaby for the Working Class. Criteria has so far released two albums.

<i>Bottoms of Barrels</i> 2006 studio album by Tilly and the Wall

Bottoms of Barrels is the second album by Omaha, Nebraska's Tilly and the Wall. It was released on 2006-05-23 on Team Love Records.

Nate Walcott is an American musical composer, arranger, pianist, keyboardist, and trumpeter. He has composed the scores for several feature-length films, including 2014's The Fault in Our Stars. He is a member of the band Bright Eyes, and has played in Conor Oberst's Mystic Valley Band and with singer-songwriter M. Ward. Between 2016 and 2019, Walcott was the touring pianist and keyboard player for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, during their The Getaway World Tour.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Au Revoir Simone</span> American indie pop band

Au Revoir Simone is an American indie pop band from Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York, formed in 2003. The group is composed of Erika Forster (vocals/keyboard), Annie Hart (vocals/keyboard/bass) and Heather D'Angelo.

Alan Tanner is a music video and short film director living in Los Angeles, California. Originally from Orange Park, Florida, he directed the "weekly movies" for the Saddle Creek Records website. Tanner also played guitar for Saddle Creek recording artist Maria Taylor.

<i>Falling Off the Lavender Bridge</i> 2008 studio album by Lightspeed Champion

Falling off the Lavender Bridge is the debut album by British artist Lightspeed Champion, which was released on 21 January 2008. The album features the singles "Galaxy of the Lost", "Midnight Surprise" and "Tell Me What It's Worth".

<i>o</i> (Tilly and the Wall album) 2008 studio album by Tilly and the Wall

o is Tilly and the Wall's third studio album, released on June 17, 2008 through Team Love Records. The album was engineered and produced by Mike Mogis.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band</span> American band

Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band is the name taken by Conor Oberst and his backing band. The band is composed of Nik Freitas (guitar), Taylor Hollingsworth (guitar), Macey Taylor (bass), Nate Walcott (keyboards/organ) and Jason Boesel (drums). The band was formed to back Oberst on his 2008 solo album but soon evolved into a band of its own with all members singing and providing songs for 2009's Outer South.

Icky Blossoms is an electropop trio formed in Omaha, Nebraska in 2011, bringing together singer/synth player Sarah Bohling and singer/multi-instrumentalists Derek Pressnall and Nik Fackler. The three became acquainted through the Omaha arts scene and Pressnall's sidebands Tilly and the Wall and Flowers Forever. In early 2012, Icky Blossoms signed to Omaha-based Saddle Creek, who released the band's self-titled, full-length LP on July 17, 2012. Produced by TV on the Radio multi-instrumentalist Dave Sitek, it is said to be an “album of sharp mechanical grooves and romantic attitude” by Spin magazine.


  1. "Tilly and the Wall and the Rhythm of the Feet". NPR.org. Retrieved 2022-01-17.
  2. Tim McMahan (2003-10-29). "Tilly and the Wall: Put on your dancing shoes". Lazy-i. Retrieved 2008-04-23.
  3. "Pre-Order 'o' today!". TillyandtheWall.com. 2008-05-06. Archived from the original on 2008-06-15. Retrieved 2008-05-07.
  4. "The new Tilly and the Wall album has no name". Pitchfork Media. 2008-03-21. Archived from the original on March 25, 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-29.
  5. "Free Songs: Tilly and the Wall (Encore)". Daytrotter.com. 2007-09-17. Archived from the original on 2008-03-14. Retrieved 2008-03-29.
  6. "YouTube". YouTube . April 7, 2016. Archived from the original on April 7, 2016. Retrieved 2020-03-16.
  7. 1 2 "New Entries Spotlight". ChartsPlus . Milton Keynes: IQ Ware Ltd (369): 20.