St. Rosa and the Swallows – The Thermals

A second straight “Coming Attractions” post, and get used to it, because there are a bunch of shows coming up in the next few weeks. I first saw the Thermals at the 2009 Pitchfork Festival, where, if memory serves, they played on the East stage in between sets from the Walkmen and Grizzly Bear (might have been before the Walkmen, in fact it probably was). I was going to just see the Walkmen and take off, but ran into some friends and stuck around. I didn’t give them much thought until their 2010 release Personal Life, which I didn’t love. But that’s OK, because I dug into their back catalog, and these days I probably listen to The Body, The Blood, The Machine at least once a week. They’re probably one of a handful of bands I’d currently call “my favorite”.

They’re playing Lincoln Hall tomorrow night (5/16) and I’m really looking forward to hearing them play in that space, because aside from the production on their first album, More Parts Per Million, their sound is pretty clean, and Lincoln Hall has absolutely tremendous acoustics. So far I’ve only seen them at festivals and at Logan Square Auditorium (not a great place for a show, but probably a great place if you’re looking to hold a Quinceanera for your 15 year old daughter). They’re a little too power-poppy to be punk, and a little too punk to be power-pop. But their stuff is almost all up-tempo major key, which means it’s more or less like aural crack for these ears.

4 Responses to “St. Rosa and the Swallows – The Thermals”


  • I like the “I will hold you tight…” line. It is not bad at all. I think I want less control in his voice.

  • I listened to this again and felt a little tension like it could veer off in a weird way into something like Dream Syndicate or perhaps Joy Division but with the exception of a small noodle by the bassist it didn’t really stray not that it has to but it would’ve been nice. Still good though!

  • The Lincoln Hall show I wrote about above turned out to probably be one of the five best shows I’ve ever seen. They really killed it. They opened with “Returning to the Fold” which is probably their biggest fan favorite. You know a band is confident when they open with their most anticipated song. I don’t usually sing along at shows, but I couldn’t help it at this one. Everyone was really into it.

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