Grand Hallway is vocalist and instrumentalist Tomo Nakayama, leading a chamber pop band from Seattle, Washington. Tomo performs the big music number in Lynn Shelton’s Touchy Feely, an artistic apex of emotional release many critics have tagged the centerpiece to the independent film. That song, “Horses,” is the single from and the title of his debut EP on Versicolor Records. The gorgeous seven inch vinyl release also includes “Off The Grid,” “I Like You,” and the title track stripped down to a Tomo solo performance.
Within a rotating cast of highly talented vagabond musicians, Grand Hallway have released three full-length albums since 2007 and toured throughout the U.S. and Japan, including performances at SXSW, Sasquatch, CMJ, Bumbershoot, and Capitol Hill Block Party’ sharing the stage with Shearwater, Cave Singers, Robin Pecknold, Shugo Tokumaru, and Damien Jurado. Their music has been featured on NPR, KEXP, and Amazon.
Here is what some critics have said about Grand Hallway:
“The most compelling moment (in ‘Touchy Feely’) is a musical interlude in which Jenny and Paul attend a performance by Tomo Nakayama, the lead singer of the Seattle band Grand Hallway. Delivered by Mr. Nakayama in a plaintive cry as he accompanies himself on guitar, his ballad “Horses” distills the inchoate longings of these likable characters more effectively than any spoken words. “Is it a blessing or a curse to be found?” the lyrics wonder. “Is it a burden or a gift to be bound?”
—The New York Times
“Expansive, well-crafted set of orchestral folk-pop, with dynamic, beautifully textured song arrangements…”
“I was particularly moved by a small role played by musician Tomo Nakayama (in ‘Touchy Feely’). He wrote the song ‘Horses’ especially for the film, and as the credits rolled I raced to the Internet to hear it again.”
“A monorail ride into the orchestral-pop genius of Nakayama and his band, Grand Hallway employs a bevy of instruments—banjo, mandolin, pedal steel, vibraphones, and beyond—but it’s the vocals and arrangements that resonate loudest.”
“Grand Hallway is the local group whose press write-ups by area music writers are most likely to contain the words ‘brilliant,’ ‘genius’ or ‘masterpiece.’”