DYNAMIC DUO Hiles and Pratt.
'Twas a nice (if too brief) run for local indie-folk outfit the Devil, My Pocket, who are calling it quits with two headlining shows this weekend at the 201. TDMP frontman Tim Hiles is preparing for a left-coast relocation with vocally-gifted girlfriend Mary Bee (who released her debut Fiesole this year). Violinist/classically-trained pianist Katie Pratt and multi-instrumentalist Hiles formed the Devil, My Pocket in 2008 following the split of art-folk locals Chloma Lieder, and soon began cranking out demos. A self-titled disc was released later that year and, by the spring of '09, the duo bolstered the dynamics by adding a bassist, electric guitarist, and drummer, all of whom had previously worked in hardcore bands (including guitarist-turned-drummer Rich Gaccione, formerly of Reggie & the Full Effect). The quintet toured with Brown Bird and These United States and hit the studio with intentions of cutting their first album as a full band. The resulting five-track EP should be available at TDMP's final shows, and it's well worth picking up. Hiles and Pratt hit some nice harmonies on the midtempo gem "July at Your House," while Hiles channels the Jameson-fueled howl of John MacCauley on "Do What You Want to Do." "Do what you want to me, whatever you feel you need/Don't worry about me babe, 'cuz you can no longer hurt me," sings Hiles over Pratt's violin before conceding, "Yeah you know, like a fool, I'll still love you."
TDMP wisely opened with that one at the sold-out Deer Tick show last Saturday at AS220 as the band (down to a four-piece since ex-Verse guitarist Zak Drummond left the band over the summer) held their own while dealing with an all-ages crowd that chatted during the set, including the idiotic catcall "I wanna have her babies!," well-handled by a blushing Pratt ,who responded with her thick, UK-bred accent and a beaming smile: "I'm not ready to have babies, nothing personal." Back-porch gaslight anthems like "While the House Burned" and "Wasted, Broke and Burned" won the room over, as did the sparse beauty "You, Me, & Everyone We Meet," which appears on the five-song EP Old Georgia Symphony, which was recorded during a recent Pratt/Hiles duet tour down south, and will be also available at the 201.
We caught up with the duo for an online chat earlier this week, as the couch-hopping Hiles prepares to bid farewell and Pratt prepares for life post-TDMP, which includes getting her Ph.D. at Brown University.
WHY THE DECISION TO LEAVE PVD AND MOVE TO LA? TIM: My day job lends itself to working from home or anywhere with an internet connection, and Mary has wanted to move there for a long time. Oddly enough, the only time we had been there together we both got seriously ill and I almost died. Nevertheless, the idea of spending winter in a warm place sounded pretty good to me.
KATIE: Providence is definitely going to feel very different without them.
HOW/WHY DID THE TWO OF YOU DECIDE TO EXPAND THE BAND LINEUP? KATIE: After playing as a trio for a while we decided it'd be cool to scale things up a bit and fill out the sound. The full band side of TDMP was a really, really fun time, and I think that joy really shows on the new recordings. Rich's drumming really changed the dynamic of a number of our songs and made us more upbeat.