Hallelujah the Hills (band) is an American indie rock band from Boston, Massachusetts, formed in 2005 by Ryan Walsh. They have been hailed by the Boston Phoenix as "one of Boston's most prized pop possessions", received a 3 1/2 star review for their debut in Rolling Stone Magazine, and have been praised by Pitchfork Media as having "vivid lyrics," and a "knack for crafting fist-pumping anthems."
The band was signed to Misra Records in 2006 on which they released their first two full-length albums. They have co-written a song with Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, collaborated with author Jonathan Lethem, and have had a live performance interrupted by Chevy Chase.
In 2009, the band helped arrange and record the Titus Andronicus album The Monitor. All trumpet, cello, keyboards, and piano parts for the album were recorded with Hallelujah the Hills in Boston in August 2009, including backing vocals on "A More Perfect Union" and "Titus Andronicus Forever". After the album's release, the two bands toured together with Hallelujah the Hills opening, and then joining Titus Andronicus halfway through their set to form a large band that recreated the album's arrangements. During the Titus Andronicus after-party show for 2010's Pitchfork Festival, Hallelujah the Hills singer Ryan Walsh took on Jenn Wasner's vocal part to perform the Titus duet "To Old Friends And New".
Pitchfork wrote that the band's sophomore album, Colonial Drones, found the band jumping "to the accelerated class" while Blurt Magazine called it "a rough-hewn classic." In support of the release, the band toured with The Silver Jews which led to the collaboration on the song "Classic Tapes" in which Jews' bassist Cassie Berman sings with Hills singer Ryan Walsh. After their third drummer Peter Negroponte quit on-stage during a live concert, the band began working with longtime Son Volt drummer Dave Bryson on new songs. During this time, Misra Records changed ownership, and the band's contract was not renewed.
Hallelujah The Hills' third full-length album No One Knows What Happens Next was funded by a successful Kickstarter project and was declared "a daring move" by Prefix Magazine for its stripped down arrangements and lack of distortion. It was called a "gorgeous start-to-finish listen" by Dig Boston. Shortly after recording sessions for No One Knows What Happens Next ended, Walsh wrote a large feature for The Boston Phoenix in which he admitted to being the ringleader behind the 2008 file-sharing hoax, "The Overdub Tampering Committee" Later that year, he created a crowd-sourced collage song involving hundreds of contributors and directed a video for Marissa Nadler's song "The Wrecking Ball Company."" The band also performed at the site of the Boston Occupy movement around this time, later learning they were surveilled by BRIC (Boston Regional Intelligence Center) for the performance.
In May 2013, the band released a collection of b-sides, non-album tracks, and rarities entitled Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Trashcan. In a Boston Herald profile published around that same time, the band was singled out for their recent turn of writing about writing, posing the question "It takes genius to write a great song about writing a song. So how is it Hallelujah The Hills has done it twice in two years?"
Recorded at 1809 Studios in Macedon, New York, the band finished the fourth album in five days in early 2014. In a blog entry posted during the sessions, Walsh hinted that the album had some connection to The Fox Sisters who are regularly credited as being the accidental inventors of the Spiritualist movement in America in the late 1800s. Have You Ever Done Something Evil? was released on May 13, 2014. The album was a critical success, earning the band high praise from SPIN, Stereogum, Noisey, Blurt Magazine and more. Popmatters declared the album the "#1 Overlooked Album of the Year," calling it the band's "masterstroke." Evil's first single "Pick Up An Old Phone" was subsequently BBC Radio6's song of the day in April 2014. The band won two Boston Music Awards for Evil including Best Rock Act and Best Video.
Following the album's release, the band toured California performing a week of live dates and an appearance on the Improv4Humans podcast, wherein comedians Matt Besser, Lauren Lapkus, and others created comedic scenes based on live performances of the band's songs. This podcast recording happened just hours after the band was robbed in Oakland, California where all of the band's personal items and merchandise was stolen while they were on stage at The New Parish. Upon their return to the east coast, the band created two additional music videos— one based on an improvised scene with comedian James Adomian (Comedy Bang Bang, Last Comic Standing), and another where the band staged a house party and filmed the results. Taking part in a live-streamed event called "Behind The Album," songwriter Ryan Walsh likened the odds of their fourth album coming together the way it did to "pulling off a heist."
On April 12 2016, Hallelujah The Hills returned with A Band Is Something To Figure Out, their fifth full-length album, recorded almost ten years to the day of their first rehearsal.