Introducing: Sister Castle Theater
Tyler Tholl is one of the local musicians behind up-and-coming power pop group Maple & Beech. In quite the departure from M&B’s seven members, Tholl also fronts a project called Sister Castle Theater in which he partners with just his piano and drums (also an occasional pedal steel courtesy of Zack Warpinski).
In his solo work Tholl displays a real talent for simple and effective melodies, lean songwriting, and a warm and engaging sound. He conjures the spirits of Nilsson to Newman, amongst others, and even sounds a bit “Bowie-esque” in more upbeat tunes like “My House.”
It’s an uncomplicated sound that’s been done by countless others, so the real trick is doing it in a way that stands out. Tholl excels at his own brand of unadorned balladry, easily hurdling over the ranks of piano pop mediocrity through the sheer ingenuity of his spare-yet-effective melodies.
Tholl released his most recent work, a five song Ep entitled Piano Songs. You can stream/purchase it below or at the Bandcamp site. Also worth checking out: a cool claymation video for single “Rome” here.