A Thousand Falls
A Thousand Falls is a Twin Cities indie band formed in late 2008. Melding a variety of influences (from local favorites the Jayhawks to Wilco) they have distinguished themselves as a band of extraordinary lyrical depth and passion. In local Twin Cities shows at such venues as the Fine Line and the 400 Bar, they have drawn in audiences and taken them somewhere through their music.
The band was formed in the midst of profound personal tragedy, but out of that beginning something quite beautiful has emerged.
In 2008 Adam Swenson lost his baby son, Nico, to complications from a heart surgery. Several musician friends came together to play at Nico’s funeral. Soon, a new maternity clinic (named after Nico) was built in a remote part of Africa, and this same group of friends played a benefit show for the clinic. The band realized something special was happening when they got together, and A Thousand Falls was formed.
Perhaps because of their beginning, A Thousand Falls debut album, Midnight, features songs that emerge out of the recesses of the heart. Singer Pat Kahnke says, “We’re actually happy guys, by and large, but these songs have captured a certain time in our lives. The songs on our new album were written by four different guys in the band, and we all experienced the heaviness of the past couple years as we wrote. The songs come across right now as a bit of a lonely walk through dark woods, but we can already see the trees starting to thin out.”
Despite the subject matter of the songs, the sound is engaging and accessible. Kahnke says, “That’s because we ultimately aren’t big fans of catharsis. It’s a little selfish, we think, to merely open a vein and bleed all over the audience. We can do catharsis at home. What we’re looking for is transcendence, and that’s something we can invite others to engage in with us.”
To listen to the band perform a song like “Midnight Has Fallen,” which Swenson wrote about the experience of losing his son, is to enter into that sort of transcendence that only a shared musical experience can offer. And the mixture of foreboding and hope that characterized the band’s past two years can be summed up in the final words of Trevis Underdahl’s song, “Colors.” “If flowers bloomed in starlight, if I knew we’d be alright, I’d rest in fearless love tonight.”