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Woke Up Early the Day I Died

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Album Review

Recorded over the course of three years, slowly built upon original guitar and voice tracks that singer/songwriter Jim Vallet (formerly of minor alt-rockers Head Candy) recorded in his Iowa apartment's living room, Woke Up Early the Day I Died has the slightly airless feel of a much-overdubbed home recording. This actually suits the somewhat depressive vibe of Vallet's lyrics and his low-key melodies; Woke Up Early the Day I Died compares favorably to contemporaries ranging from Low (especially on the hushed, hypnotic "Here at the End") through Architecture in Helsinki to Broken Social Scene. A particular highlight is the propulsive "Happy," which has a jangle-edged nervous tension akin to the New Zealand indie bands of the '80s, whether that's what Vallet intended or not. Apparently, Track a Tiger has mutated into a proper band with a full-time lineup since the recording of this EP; perhaps its homemade charm will survive a more traditional recording style.


Formed: August, 2003 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

The easygoing indie rock of Chicago's Track a Tiger was originally a solo idea initiated by Jim Vallet in summer 2003. After working on some songs on acoustic guitar in his apartment for two years and receiving help from some contributors, Woke Up Early the Day I Died was released in February 2006 on Future Appletree. A live lineup was brought together in spring 2006 and featured Vallet (guitar, vocals), Aaron Wilkins (bass), Mike Ciuni (drums), Patrick Melvin (guitar, keyboard, vocals),...
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Woke Up Early the Day I Died, Track a Tiger
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