02 . Ghost Maps [ mp3 ]
03 . Smoke
04 . Sister
05 . Lucky Girls
06 . Secret Codes [ mp3 ]
07 . Please Don't Throw My Love Away [ mp3 ]
08 . Weekends are the Worst
09 . 1985 Forever
10 . Home
DWL056 . Released January 31, 2012
Add to Cart : $10 . iTunes Music Store . eMusic Description 'North College Hill' is the new album from The Minor Leagues, the latest in a string of releases from the Cincinnati seven-piece to pair stinging melancholy with insidiously catchy melodies. The Leagues' last two records covered the end of a relationship and the end of the world in overblown concept-album fashion, and this new album continues the streak with ten songs of bittersweet rust-pop about North College Hill, lead singer Ben Walpole's crumbling Midwestern hometown. The band paints a baroque portrait of the neighborhood-as-history, detailing childhood memories in a faded palette of strings, bells, and guitar jangle.
The entire record delights in nostalgia, with Brill Building arrangements filtered through the drive and sing-along choruses of 90s Brit-pop, all set against a backdrop of lush instrumentation. Beginning as an attempt to capture a certain place, North College Hill becomes more about holding on to lost time, with nods to 19th-century flu outbreaks, Nell Freudenberger, and Falco along the way. And while the band's past work has earned them comparisons to recent popsmiths like Belle & Sebastian and The New Pornographers, their charm, witty lyricism and ear for detail continue to set them apart from the rest. Reviews The Minor Leagues' last two albums dealt with concepts like the end of a relationship and the end of the world. Have they cheered up for their latest effort? On the evidence of this track, Secret Codes - no, they haven't. But that doesn't matter. As long as they pump out new music of this quality they can feel however the fuck they please.
- Those Who Dig . January 12, 2012The Minor Leagues track 'Ghost Maps' plays like a small slice of my childhood. The bassline rolls throughout this track, an unheralded champion, while the keys take over and provide an amazing one two punch that is as much about the atmosphere the seven piece from Cincinnati has created as it is about the poignant and close-to-home lyricism. I grew up in small town USA. Our population was just over 4,000. We only had one high school, there weren't a lot of jobs. It was a simple life, but when I was in it the life seemed like it had been drained out of me. 'Ghost Maps' hits that nail on the head. Despair, uncertainty.. what turned your town into a ghost town?
- Sirens of Decay . January 29, 2012The album is also another showcase of amazing, infectious Pop melodies that won't do much to put a halt to the Belle & Sebastien, New Pornographers and Apples in Stereo comparisons The Minor Leagues have received since forming in the early '00s.
- The Wheel's Still In Spin . February 3, 2012Our commitment to helping expose top new music talent is made all the easier when the bands sound this good on first listen. Meet The Minor Leagues, a seven piece indie-pop band out of Cincinnati, with one of the best sounds I have heard come out of the young year.. Lyrically solemn, they offer sad, bittersweet tales of home: small, midwestern towns dissolving into the dust of today's America. But these songs have a mismatch in sound. They still bounce like a leaf on the wind of a Spring day. We've heard Belle and Sebastian do the same - but the melancholy results have never seemed so close to home - and the heart.
- Ryan's Smashing Life . February 3, 2012This band from Cincinnati on North College Hill will show you an orchestral dimension of pop music, only possible between the best music creators. It should be illegal to create such ilusions.
- Insomnia Radio . February 11, 2012The effort has yielded a solid production, full of the gangly Brit-pop that I've so enjoyed from previous TML releases. Vocals are smooth, harmonies are tight and the retro-feel draws me in every time I listen.. What amazes me is the way that the band can build a concept album with themes that are often dark or melancholy and make me feel happy listening. The combination of strings, trumpet, and pop harmonies seem to give it a luster that one wouldn't expect from such a theme. I'm not sure why, but it works.
- Audio Gumshoe . February 20, 2012The songs from the new album, another "storyline" effort, this time themed around growing up in North College Hill, sounded great in the band's set, living up to the standard of crowd pleasers like "French Canadia," the band's no-brainer show closer, with its "Hey Jude" worthy sing-a-long climax.
- Citybeat . February 24, 2012Considering the fact that they're an underground pop band, these folks write and record some surprisingly accessible music that could appeal to a wide range of listeners. The songs feature nice crisp melodies and you can easily understand the lyrics. Cool light orchestrated arrangements are a big part of this band's sound. They don't over arrange and overlayer their songs...but there's quite a bit going on musically that makes for a rather interesting roller coaster ride. These songs have a smooth classic sound and they were created using mostly traditional instruments. We'd be willing to bet that these folks are already hugely popular in and around Cincinnati.
- Babysue . March 1, 201224 hours worth of perfect pop harmonies packed into 36-odd minutes sit nicely on top of mid-tempo indie pop guitars, drums, trumpets and bass. No overproduced sounds, no distorted guitars to cover a lack of training, no fast-paced drums to hide awkward silences, no vocal effects to make the singers sound like pre-teen robots. In short, it contains none of the apparent requirements of making a modern pop piece de resistance. That's French for 'if there was a just god in the world, this album should be making the band a lot of money.'
- Zaptown . March 7, 2012
Interview w/ Last Year's Girl . January 30, 2012
Interview w/ Dayton City Paper . March 16, 2012
Interview w/ The Lonely House . April 11, 2012
Interview w/ Donewaiting . July 10, 2012
Leicester Bangs . January 6, 2012
1980 & Beyond . January 10, 2012
Dead Journalist . January 16, 2012
The POP! Stereo . January 31, 2012
Band Weblogs . February 1, 2012
Cowboy Cantor . February 4, 2012
guthoerenistwichtig . February 6, 2012
I Land Music . February 12, 2012
Hits in the Car . February 22, 2012
Ryan's Smashing Life (Best of 2012) . February 22, 2012