Boston duo Tall Heights is comprised of childhood friends Tim Harrington and Paul Wright. The pair got their start as street performers.
“We were living on what we made out on the street,” Harrington tells EW. He says that playing music on street corners gave Wright and himself a unique opportunity to hone Tall Heights’ sound.
“It was four to six hours a day of performing,” Harrington continues, adding that intensive practice helped the musicians gel creatively.
Tall Heights are touring in support of 2015’s full-length Holding On, Holding Out. The record mixes the icy acoustic guitar and delicate harmonies of Fleet Foxes alongside cello, textural atmosphere and a kind of chest-swelling, epic melancholy.
“When we started, we were both listening to very different things,” Harrington recalls. “I was listening to more of a rock-‘n’-roll, punk kind of thing and Paul was listening to more singer-songwriter stuff.”
“At first, what was exciting to us is the other person had a different approach and opinion,” he adds. “At this point in time we feel we are very similar sorts of songwriters.”
Harrington says that Tall Heights seek to emphasize melody in their songwriting and the perfect musical hook.
“The way melody works with rhythm,” he explains, “there are notes that are available and there are rhythmic patterns that are available — finding the right match, when those things line up, that’s what we would call a hook — memorable and timeless.”
“It’s always been what I was looking for in music,” Harrington says, “and now, as we write it, it’s what we’re trying to create.”
Tall Heights play with popular Portland folk duo Shook Twins 9 pm Friday, Nov. 20, at Hi-Fi Music Hall; $14 adv., $16 door, 21-plus; $16 advance, $18 door, all-ages.