Opening the iTunes Store.If iTunes doesn't open, click the iTunes application icon in your Dock or on your Windows desktop.Progress Indicator
Opening the iBooks Store.If iBooks doesn't open, click the iBooks app in your Dock.Progress Indicator

iTunes is the world's easiest way to organize and add to your digital media collection.

We are unable to find iTunes on your computer. To preview and buy music from what the Toll Tells by Two Gallants, download iTunes now.

Already have iTunes? Click I Have iTunes to open it now.

I Have iTunes Free Download
iTunes for Mac + PC

what the Toll Tells

Open iTunes to preview, buy, and download music.

Album Review

It seemed quite hard to believe that Two Gallants could fulfill the expectation created by the quality of their first LP The Throes, but even the angels on the cover of this second album, What the Toll Tells, appear to be amazed that they have done so. And it is understandable. First, the production from new label Saddle Creek improves the sound of its predecessor, and the San Francisco-formed duo doesn't spare us a moment to miss it, opening with the rocky "Las Cruces Jail," probably the most powerful song of their short discography so far. After the second cut, the slow and beautiful "Steady Rollin'," this pair of friends manages to persuade you that they are capable of stunning you again with the similar poetic, sad stories that thrilled you on the previous album. To that end, they don't mind offering nine-minute pieces which rummage inside the most hidden and bitter emotions of human beings, building irregular structures where the rhythm and musical strength vary as a function of the story they tell, contrary to what is usual. It is worth pointing out, however, that in some moments the similarity of chords might cause a sense of reiteration and even a slight saturation, since the musical pulse could occasionally overwhelm the small quantity of instruments (guitar/harmonica/drums). Nevertheless, this just happens if we listen to it as background music without paying attention to what it's intended to convey and, on the other hand, it indicates that what Two Gallants do is neither folk nor rock, but a high quality folk-rock. So as you go through the album, you run into masterpieces like "Threnody," a harsh ballad about love, loss, and blame, with a crushing intensity that ends up tearing you apart, "Waves of Grain," a political complaint-turned-poem, and above all, "Age of Assassins," a brilliant example of this band's music, where in eight minutes vitalizing tempo highs and lows are combined with breathtaking metaphorical writing about the burden of life. This, together with Adam Stephens' dramatic voice and melancholic harmonica, results in an ideal soundtrack for the personal, decadent stories everyone has. Because it appears these beatnik-like guys have found the secret that only the greats know: to take the form as the substance, helping to evoke what it is inside of us instead of telling us how we are.

Customer Reviews

Emo Indie? Please. Pure Americana.

I love that Saddle Creek picked these guys up, but if the result is them being labeled as "emo indie" by certain iTunes users, I'm less thrilled. Two Gallants represents true American music - folk - laced with visceral, rough-hewn punk rock.

Las Cruces Jail

This song, which has a spaghetti western beginning (complete with wind and whistling sound effects), quickly turns into a song that displays elements of rockabilly, blues and folk and is reminiscent of the early Violent Femmes. The vocals are cigarette harsh and the lyrics tell an epic story of the old (and the new) west. “Well, a restless wind is whistlin’/Through my window through my head/Through all the strife that I’ve survived/And in my hour of darkness/I keep counsel with the dead/Just enough to remind me I’m alive.” The band is evidently named after a short story by James Joyce and is comprised of a very young guitar-and-drums alt-country duo from San Francisco named Adam Stephens and Tyson Vogel. I first heard this on the CMJ – College Music Journal compilation CD Issue 138 New Music Journal.

I love the simplicity!

I like how they aren't excellent musicians and his voice isn't sweet at all. Its harsh with rough edges... just like music should be.


Formed: 2002 in San Francisco, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Simplicity is key for the lo-fi blend of folk/indie rock from San Francisco duo Two Gallants. Taking their name from a James Joyce short story, Adam Stephens (vocals/guitar/harmonica) and Tyson Vogel (drums/vocals) have been playing together as Two Gallants since 2002, sounding more like a dirty Southern folk act than their Bay Area origins may initially suggest. They released their debut, The Throes, in 2004 on Alive Records and followed up two years later with What the Toll Tells on Saddle Creek....
Full Bio