Band Practice,
“Bartending at Silent Barn”

Liz Pelly

Is Jeanette Wall writing the soundtrack to my life? “Bartending at Silent Barn” is the first single from her debut tape as Band Practice, and it is ultra relatable. “Nobody at this show likes me,” Wall starts with a perfect college radio pop delivery, over the spare repetition of minimal distorted guitar chords that last most of the song, “except maybe Cassie.” It’s simple, resonant, and funny, much like every clearly articulated line of the track. “Sorry I got weird,” Wall continues. “Sorry here’s your beer.” The final bit of the song sees her stuck in her head, sorting through the type of kinda-buzzed existential crisis you might have mid bar shift at a venue filled with strangers. At 2 minutes in, it comes to a huge meandering ending, filled out by drums and bass and buried harmonies.

“Bartending” comes from Make Nice, Wall’s first proper release as Band Practice. Since 2012, the project has mostly consisted of  lo-fi home recordings posted straight to Bandcamp, a combination of endearingly scrappy sad-girl pop and classically skillful vocal turns. Make Nice is a big progression away from those demos though, more in line with the sorts of tapes she’s released via her own label, Miscreant Records. With her own imprint, Wall has released some worthy, overlooked tapes this year, including the candid feminist hooks of Adult Mom and the lush, emotive songwriting of Vagabon. Fans of either will appropriately be into Band Practice, whose debut is out December 9 via Chill Mega Chill.

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