Sunday, April 9, Launchpad (21-and-over), Free: Like Johnny Cash with throat cancer or Flogging Molly's Dave King on a whiskey binge, Two Gallants' lead singer Adam Stephens belts out dust-covered vignettes over muted guitar and flower-petal-soft symbol crashes. This is the windswept landscape of Two Gallants' “Nothing to You” off of the band's debut release The Throes. Stephens and Tyson Vogel borrow the unmistakable intimacy of Bright Eyes mastermind and Two Gallants' mentor, Conor Oberst, and take it to a murky, half-chaotic place that's uninhabited by most but oddly familiar to many.
The Two Gallants just released their second full-length album, What the Toll Tells, on Oberst's own label, Saddle Creek. There are no walk-off home runs on this one (like the instantly treasured “Nothing”), but overall the release is more solid than the San Franciscans' debut. Stephens and Vogel may have grown up too fast but their well-aged sound pays the debt incurred by their lost innocence. Two Gallants (who are named after a James Joyce short story) will play a cover-free show at the Launchpad this Sunday.