So what does a band do when it goes into semi-retirement? Do they spend their days playing Canasta and Cribbage in a retirement home somewhere sunny? Take ship cruises in the Caribbean? Buy a Winnebago and hit the road in style? If you are the finest purveyors of twee-cuddle-core-hard-core-rock-n-roll then you make a new record and have DJ battles with other bands.
When Tullycraft went on hiatus back in 2009 they said they would no longer be playing live, but left the door open for more records. Four years later they have a new record in the Phil Ek mixed Lost In Light Rotation, but they seem to be sticking to their guns about not playing live. It must be killing them to be sitting on a stack of brand new corkers and not be able to rock a house with them.
The new batch of songs is filled with the rapid fire delivery of Sean Tollefson’s lyrics which continue to be full of references that I feel like I miss half of. One of the coolest things about Tullycrafts is that even if you are not an indiepop fan you can still become ensnared in Tollefson’s world. He paints a vivid picture and knows a good catch phrase when he comes up with one (“We took the bombs to the basement and the dance hall records out”). Sharing vocal duties with Jenny Mears is also a good idea. Her sweet pitch perfect voice counters Tollefson’s spindly delivery. The first single (and the title track) Lost in Light Rotation references B.I.S’s This is Fake D.I.Y. with its raygun-raygun chorus, but you don’t have to know that to enjoy the manic energy of this song and many others on this album.
Tullycraft put twee on the map in a lot of people’s books, and they continue in that same vein combining sock hop 50’s (From Witchita with love lifts the chorus of Bobby Freeman‘s Do You Wanna Dance and No Tic and All Tac recalls Tony Basil‘s Oh Mickey) with bespectacled sweater vest wearing, tattooed librarians (they start Elks Lodge Riots and buy their records at charity shops). Every scene needs a center and it’s good to have the center restored with the return of Tullycraft.
Now if they would just fully come out of retirement and play a few shows. I’m the forgiving and forgetful sort, and would totally not call them on it.