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"Song of the Day: Hallways - All You Have To Do"


POSTED: July 24th, 2009 at 6:00 am

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Each and every Friday we offer songs by local artists. Today’s featured selection, chosen by Morning Show host John Richards, is “All You Have To Do” by Hallways available on their self-released debut Ghosts.

Hallways - All You Have To Do (mp3)

Grant Burton (Spook the Horse) and Stephanie Parrish (Sad Panda) didn’t set out to start a band together. They simply wanted to memorialize the songs they wrote for and with each other as they began their relationship and worked on letting their past go as they started to forging their future. Their heartfelt ballads and gentle harmonies invoke long solitary car rides where your mind begins to wander. Today’s song, “All You Have to Do,” has all the innocence and longing of a blossoming relationship (before fights over whose turn it is to do the dishes).

If you haven’t had the chance to check Hallways out yet, you may be in for a surprise. For their live set, they pulled in other musicians (mostly from Burton’s former band) and have reconfigured their slow country ballads into more rockin’ tunes. You can check them out this weekend at The Comet’s stellar (and FREE) Capitol Hill Block Party After Party Saturday (7/25) along with The Curious Mystery. For more info and future shows check out their MySpace page. - KEXP

"Artopia: Nashville Trippers"

http://www.seattleweekly.com/2009-06-24/ arts/artopia-nashville-trippers/

Artopia: Nashville Trippers
Traditional country meets psychedelia? Hallways says it can work.

Hallways is a band with identity issues.

But the Seattle five-piece is fully up-front about its growing pains and its journey toward a unified sound. Starting out as a duo in love, singer-songwriter Grant Burton and his girlfriend, vocalist/keyboard player Stephanie Parrish, wrote most of the tracks on their 2008 debut release Ghosts as simple love songs. It was as though they never intended to become a band at all. The mostly slow country ballads are like an update on the dynamic between June Carter and Johnny Cash: Heartache, heartbreak, and redemption are the guiding principles, and the sparse instrumentation puts the jaded romanticism of their lyrics at the forefront.

As Hallways gained momentum, however, Burton and Parrish added Shane Herrell (bass), Brian Papenfuss (drums), and Kimo Muraki (lap steel, sax, banjo). Members old and new now say they're working out the kinks in Hallways' expanded sound.

"A lot of the songs we play, those two wrote before it was a fleshed-out band," Papenfuss says during a recent sit-down. "Now that it's a band, we vibe on more rock-inspired music...more in the vein of Pink Floyd."

That's more than a stone's throw away from the psychedelic alt-country on Ghosts, but interestingly enough, the music of Pink Floyd was a key turning point for the band. Last month, Hallways practically won the lottery by being asked to open for celebrated Scottish rock band the Vaselines. Their set at Neumos was full of hauntingly beautiful ballads, yet the most memorable moment came during their bombastic cover of Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb."

"We want to have this fiery energy on stage," Parrish says. "We don't want to be stuck in some really acoustic, romantic kind of place."

"And that's great, that's where you guys started," Papenfuss interjects.

"But I think we want to move beyond that," Parrish finishes.

While Ghosts' actual release party has yet to occur, the songwriters already feel as though they've outgrown its sentiments. But certain songs, like the eerily passionate "Manson Motel" and "Roses," deserve to be heard by local audiences and beyond. The band isn't about to stop playing them, but you can expect more upbeat rockers at their Artopia show.

"My songwriting has never been pinned down to one style," Burton says. "It's a collective of country, alt-rock, Southern, whatever genre you want to put it in. We don't want to be one thing."

Parrish picks up the theme: "One of the best compliments we've gotten is that one of our fans said that we have this interesting, sort of unclassifiable sound, and we're not really sure where it's going to go." Then she adds with a laugh, "But we also had a fan say, 'You guys are really a country band, you just won't accept it.'"

- by Jonathan Cunningham at Seattle Weekly

"GHOSTS Album Review - 3/4 Stars"

Hallways' debut album is nothing if not perfectly titled. There are ghosts all over this disc, from the demons that dominate the lyrics to the ghostly moaning of horns and musical saws in the background. This is a band whose greatest asset is attacking its music with a certain abandon, leaving the songs to assert themselves. That creative detachment works well for some of the tunes ("The Pool," "All You Have to Do"), while it just falls flat on others. Still, only Hallways could make a song like "Always Expect A Train" catchy, despite the fact that there's no real melody and the instrumentation seems to be there more for ambiance than actual melodic development. Somehow, from the beginning of the tune's Dylan-esque country-rock bent to the sonic explosion of horns that leads to a smooth '80's-style sax solo, Hallways makes it work. If only the whole record were as good. -Kim Ruehl Standout Tracks: "The Pool", "Always Expect A Train" - Sound Magazine, May 2009

"Concert Review: Hallways at Neumos"

http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/20 09/05/last_night_hallways_at_neumos.php

Yesterday evening was all about the Vaselines. The Scottish duo finally got to play in Seattle, the city of their rebirth some 20 years after they broke up so undoubtedly, much attention was paid to the band during their hour and a half set last night at Neumos. But for those who showed up early, we were treated to a rather interesting set of music from local duo/five piece, Hallways.

I call them a duo because that's how they started out, and essentially what they still are with Grant Burton and Stephanie Parrish writing all the songs and music for the band. They're the nucleus of the group, and lovers, which was very obvious based on their synergy and songwriting — but ironically, that duo sounds best as a five piece when they add drums, bass, and banjo/saxphone/lap steel guitar like they did last night. Their set started out sort of tepid at first as they began with a few slower, alt country-esque love songs to one another. The bulk of their material is mostly about the emotions of initially falling in love and was written before other members were added to the group to help record an album and play live shows. I'm not sure the crowd was feeling those first few tunes, or maybe folks were just single and bitter and didn't want to hear that shit. Either way, if people were into it, they didn't immediately show it.

The first half hour had that Neumos "let's all stand here with our hands in our pockets" feeling that Seattle audiences can be known for. But at the same time, bands on stage have to earn the respect of the crowd so it's partly admiral. Anyway, some of their first songs, especially those with a slight country twang, felt more suited for a crowd in Nashville or North Carolina. And they struck me as the type of band that had a better chance of making it out of Seattle, rather than in Seattle, if that makes sense.

To be fair, last night was only the band's fourth time playing out and they're already opening up for the Vaselines, which naturally is going to add a good amount of pressure. Although they later denied it, there was definitely some nervous energy on stage throughout their set, but they eventually smoothed all of that out.

As the songs picked up in pace and the more energy Hallways was able to give the audience, the crowd didn't hesitate to give it right back. At some point, Hawai'ian transplant Kimo Muraki, who was playing banjo in the beginning switched to saxophone and it added a whole new dynamic. I think my favorite original songs of theirs from last night were "Roses" and "All You Have To Do." Even though the latter is full of that pillow-talk Southern romance appeal, it's a gorgeous ballad nonetheless.

The crowd reacted best when they jumped into "Comfortably Numb." It's sort of ballsy to cover Pink Floyd like that, especially at the end of their set when the room was packed with people. What stood out most was that they had a fuller sound during that song than they did on any other — Grant flailed about in full rock star mode, Stephanie with her short dress, cute looks, and endless gams, crooned with the more energy than she did all night, and Kimo even switched to lap steel guitar. They played the moment up and closed out strong, which the audience seemed to appreciate. Even though they've got some kinks to work out (it being their fourth show and all) it wasn't a bad set at all.

On a random note: Why the hell did people keep shooting streamers and blowing bubbles into the crowd? I felt like I was in Fear and Loathing at one point with all types of ribbons and bubbles and party favors (not those kind of party favors) touching my face! I'm not sure if that was a part of the act, but it sure seemed weird. -Jonathan Cunningham (Music Editor) - Seattle Weekly

"Best Local Band We’d Never Seen: Hallways"

Other than listing them as part of a larger line-up we’d never given Hallways the proper attention, and that is officially our bad. The duo of Grant Burton and Stephanie Parrish front this outfit, offering a sometimes mournful take on that opposite sex dynamic. Even as Parrish’s voice and energy elevates her in the mix, Burton’s lyrics and delivered words distinguish him. Everything-man Kimo Muraki who plays numerous instruments in a bevy of other local rock and alt-country bands, provides Hallways a background of lap steel with an air of emotional authority that often thirds the harmony to spectacularly accentuate a moment. After seeing them live, we are absolutely believers and we’re paying attention now. Sorry it took us so long.

-Josh Lovseth & Abbey Simmons - Sound on the Sound


Ghosts (2009, Self-Release LP)
All You Have To Do (2009, Ghosts)
I Do For You (2009, Ghosts)
Roses (2009, Ghosts) All Songs Above Streaming Live on KEXP.org and Radio Airplay on KEXP 90.3 FM



HALLWAYS debut album, Ghosts, is "nothing if not perfectly titled. There are ghosts all over this disc, from the demons that dominate the lyrics to the ghostly moans of horns and musical saws in the background." -Sound Magazine

The romance between singer/songwriters Grant Burton and Stephanie Parrish inspired the two to form a band when they met in 2007. With strong vocals, haunting harmonies and the compliment of Parrish on piano and Burton playing guitar, the duo began writing, singing and performing together, as both a catharsis to their pasts and a love letter to their future.

During the recording of Ghosts, the duo began experimenting with extraordinary local talent: multi-instrumentalist Kimo Muraki, drummer Brian Pappenfuss and bassist Shane Herrell. Now a full five piece ensemble, with touches of psychedelic folk, alternative country and indie rock, HALLWAYS has earned a reputation for their strong live performance. "After seeing them live, we are absolutely believers and we’re paying attention now." - Sound on the Sound

HALLWAYS was selected on behalf of Seattle Weekly as a stand-out act of 2009 and has performed at Georgetown Music Festival, Reverb Festival, Burning Beast and venues such as Neumos, Comet Tavern, Cha Cha Lounge and The Tractor Tavern. HALLWAYS continues to experiment and build on their unique sound, which has been called unclassifiable by their fans. "This is a band whose greatest asset is attacking its music with a certain abandon, leaving the songs to assert themselves." -Sound Magazine

Stand out tracks are streaming live on KEXP.org and receiving Radio Airplay on KEXP 90.3 FM.

DJ John Richards picked the single, "All You Have To Do" for KEXP's FREE Song of the Day Podcast on Friday, July 24th, 2009.

Influences include Pink Floyd, Fleetwood Mac, Gram Parsons & EmmyLou Harris and Yoko Ono & John Lennon.