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North College Hill

by The Minor Leagues

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Ghost Maps (free) 03:09
Smoke 02:47
Sister 03:55
Lucky Girls 03:31
Secret Codes 03:48
1985 Forever 03:56
Home 04:41


'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.


released January 24, 2012


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The Minor Leagues Cincinnati, Ohio

Ben Walpole wishes he were British, fronting Pulp in 1995. Patrick Helmes wishes he were playing lead for Megadeth in 1988. But cruel fate has instead placed them both in the Minor Leagues, playing insidiously catchy indiepop for most of the last decade from their Cincinnati, Ohio homebase. ... more

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