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The Silent Boys’ Tilt-A-Whirl: A Whimsical, Optimistic Album That Evokes The Spirit of 80s’ Soft Rock

What has been on your playlist lately? For me it has been The Silent Boys’ Tilt-A-Whirl. While enjoying the warm springs day on my apartment’s balcony, I keep having this album on repeat due to its relaxing pop-rock vibe. Also for its nostalgic vibes that harken back to the mid-80s, a time where bands like the Feelies, REM, the Smiths, and the Go-Betweens were making waves. 

But, what makes Tilt-A-Whirl so special, soothing, and nostalgic? Continue to read on to find out why. Also, don’t forget to check out the album below and tell me what you think about it in the comments below!

Tilt-A-Whirl Explained in the Band’s Own Words

The Silent Boys

The Silent Boys explained the concept of their brand new album with the following:

Inspired by life’s many twists and turns, “Tilt-A-Whirl” covers a myriad of themes, filtered through the perspective of Dietz’s experiences as a high school counselor. The Silent Boys present songs about chasing love and adventure, the allure of autumn days at a deserted beach, and finding inspiration for creativity in city living. 

Acknowledging life doesn’t often unfold as expected, there are songs about the soullessness of consumerism, the turmoil from accepting a false image of beauty, and the dread from retreating to imaginary places to escape ridicule. For the Silent Boys, however, there’s always an underlying sense of hope derived from self-reflection, new perspectives, resilience, and forging ahead. 

The Wistful Nature of Tilt-A-Whirl 

The Silent Boys

The Silent Boys’ latest album features ten tracks that are diverse with its own melodies and rhythms. Yet, they all share a common trait: the instrumentation. Each song features an acoustic guitar, snappy drums, a deep yet stirring bass line, and a mellow electric guitar. There are times when the band incorporates other instruments like a keyboard or a blazing electric guitar, but the drums, guitars, vocals, and bass are the main characters in every song as they set the light 80s’ pop-rock mood.

If you are a fan of the Feelies, REM, the Smiths, and the Go-Betweens, then you will want to listen to Tilt-A-Whirl. You can hear the influences from these legendary rock bands featured in each tune: from the guitar chords to the main vocalist’s tone. And if you have never heard of Feelies, REM, the Smiths, and the Go-Betweens, you can still listen to Tilt-A-Whirl as many can relate to the lyrics, the melodies, or the nostalgic vibes of mid-80s’ rock. 

Tilt-A-Whirl is such a perfect album to listen throughout the days with its luring acoustic melodies, soothing vocals, and positive lyrics. This album also elicits a sort of a nostalgic feeling as each song is inspired by the feels and melodies of the mid-80s. The acoustic guitar, snappy drums, a deep yet stirring bass line, and a mellow electric guitar helps the listener to remember those days, but to feel relaxed and be positive. Don’t you think Tilt-A-Whirl is a perfect album for early spring or summer nights?

What is your favorite song from Tilt-A-Whirl? Let me know in the comments below! For me, I personally like “Unorthodox” with it’s upbeat, funky tempo. The song also features keyboard and bass lines that are quick yet fabulous. 


About the Band: The Silent Boys

The Silent Boys

The Silent Boys are a band shrouded in mystery. Years spent in obscurity hide a back catalog of seven albums awash in ear-tugging jangle rock/pop and an undercurrent of haunting, Factory Records-style post-punk. The Silent Boys pull you into their sometimes upbeat, sometimes somber world where time has stopped in the mid-80’s with, as one writer noted, “ultra-melodic lead guitar, strumming acoustic, snappy drums, and expressive bass-lines that propel finely crafted pop songs, brimming with lyrical optimism.”

The Silent Boys sound like a retro-80’s band because, in every way, they ARE one! Bandleader and founder Wallace Dietz began his musical journey at college in the early ’80s, crafting his first songs on a $20 department-store guitar while original drummer Tom Bowling banged out beats on metal Kool-Aid cans. Espousing the DIY ethic of the college alternative rock scene, Dietz borrowed an electric guitar and secured a child-size drum kit for 6 ft 4 Bowling for their first studio session in 1986.

The Silent Boys continued to record throughout the ’80s (mostly with proper instruments!), and now, 40 years later, with their amps and guitars locked into the same settings as their formative years, the Silent Boys will debut their latest album, “Tilt-A-Whirl,” on May 15th, 2020.

The Silent Boys were once a constant part of the Richmond, Virginia alternative music scene, playing the local club circuit from the mid-’80s until 1991. Dietz reformed the group in 1999 after the release of several Silent Boys songs on various indie record labels. Since then, he has continued to write songs with a nod to the guitar pop greats of the 80’s—the Feelies, REM, the Smiths, the Go-Betweens, and others. Although the line-up has shifted over the years, the Silent Boys currently consist of singer/songwriter/rhythm guitarist Dietz, longtime lead guitarist John Suchocki, drummer John Morand, and bassist Michael Click. 

You can follow The Silent Boys at the following sites:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | Bandcamp

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The Silent Boys’ Tilt-A-Whirl: A Whimsical, Optimistic Album That Evokes The Spirit of 80s’ Soft Rock

This Post Has 50 Comments

  1. CA

    My brother will love this band! He loves REM!

    1. Wallace

      Tell your brother to check out ‘Ghost of a Steam Train Heart’ from our last album too! So many people have told us it has an REM vibe.
      -Wallace Of the Silent Boys.

  2. Cristina Petrini

    This is the kind of music I grew up with, it marked my adolescence and I still love listening to it!

  3. chad

    I’ve never heard of them to be fully honest but super like the music!!! I am fan of rock in general, thanks for bringing these guys to my attention.

  4. Joline

    First time I’m hearing of this band. But I love the Smiths so I’m definitely going to check them out!

  5. Stephanie

    You’re right, this is a fun and upbeat playlist. It’s perfect for this time when we want something to keep up spirits.

  6. Meghana Rao

    Love your blog! It’s helping me discover new music. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Karen Smedley

    This sounds like a band I would enjoy listening to. Thanks for sharing

  8. Lyosha

    You make it sound so good, I really want to listen to it now! sounds pretty exciting!

  9. Nina Bosken

    I’m always interested in discovering new music, so thanks for this recommendation. I clicked on the bandcamp link. They definitely do have some REM vibes!

    1. Wallace

      Glad you like it! Cheers for listening. -Wallace of the Silent Boys

  10. Rosanna

    I am always looking for music recommendations and your blog has so many good recommendations! Thanks for sharing, I can’t wait to check out this band 🙂

    1. Elle

      This group sounds like their music is amazing. The part that stuck out to me the most was, “Each song features an acoustic guitar, snappy drums, a deep yet stirring bass line, and a mellow electric guitar.“

  11. sumit walia

    nostalgic vibes that harken back to the mid-80s is something that I love . I have to admit that I never heard of“Tilt-A-Whirl,” by the Silent Boys nut intend to do the same now

  12. Rhonda Albom

    I like the band’s sound. The instrumentals remind me of surfer music that I listened to when I was growing up.

  13. I love music from the 80’s! I am going to have to check out this band. Thank you for the recommendation!

  14. littlemisadvencha

    I havent heard of this music. I know it’s old and I love old music. I should definitely hear this one. Thanks for giving me recommendations <3

  15. Fabulous Perks

    I love discovering new music, I listen to all genres. I’m so loving this vibe!

  16. Polly

    Oh wow! The Silent Boys is like a band that I’d enjoy. I’m a fan of indie music (like arctic monkeys, the strokes, sonic youth, etc) and I find Tilt-A-Whirl song very catchy.

    1. wallace

      You have good taste in music! We love those bands as well. We’ve been making indie/indiepop music for decades and having fun doing it. Have a listen and a look at this music video (link below) we put out with this album. Cheers. Wallace D of the Silent Boys

  17. Marie Phillips

    I love 80’s soft rock and I have lived 90 minutes from Richmond, Virginia since 1990. And yet I have never heard of this band! Looking forward to getting to know more about them.

    1. wallace

      Hi neighbor! No wonder. We stopped playing live in the 90’s when bandmates drifted to distant jobs and states. Still, we continued to make and record music in the studio every few years puntuated by a handful of small live shows. We hope to change that soon. Meantime, you can find us on spotify and bandcamp and itunes and here’s a youtube link to our latest videos. Cheers. ~Wallace

  18. Krysten Quiles

    I’ve never heard of them before but I really like their sounds. Thanks for the introduction!

  19. Kristyn

    You always highlight such amazing music that I haven’t heard of. I’ll have to look into more of this one.

  20. Kathy Kenny Ngo

    Always discovering new music through your site. This one, my brother will love.

  21. Papa jack

    What I like about songs is that when the lyrics speaks about their personal experiences. I think is awesome that each of them are speaking from their life and personal experiences that is why it pierce the hears of listeners.

  22. WorldInEyes

    this band sounds amazing and much interesting…i haven’t heard of it before…

  23. blair villanueva

    This group band and their music are totally amazing! I am always learning each time I visit your page 😀

  24. Elizabeth O

    I must admit that I’ve never heard this group before but their music is of that era of sound. What a lovely

  25. Angela

    I had not heard of this band before, but it sounds like something I would like! I am a huge fan of REM and have been since their first album way back when!!!

  26. Mike A.

    Nice write up. Really interesting band!

  27. rachel

    What fun music! Admittedly, I’ve never heard of them before!!

  28. jessa bonelli

    i wish i could Listen to and buy The Silent Boys music on CD Baby.! bring back the old times!

    1. Wallace

      Band camp is the new c d baby ! Visit us at Cheers!

  29. Christa

    I gotta admit I have a soft spot for 80s soft rock. It’s so nostalgic for me!

  30. Sarah

    I love soft rock, I will listen to this band. They are great for sure!

  31. Alexis

    I love this style of music but hadn’t heard of this band before, thanks for introducing them to m.

  32. Neil Alvin

    Their songa spunds cool but not really my type.

  33. Aanya

    I am kind of a Sufi songs..bht this one does not sounds bad at all!

  34. Iris C. Permuy

    Wow, I love this group! I never heard of them, but they are just my style of music. Thanks for the discovery!

  35. Shristi

    What a nostalgic ride I had while reading this article. Thanks for this amazing and beautiful article.

  36. WorldInEyes

    I haven’t heard of this band until i read your blog..loved seems quite interesting and lovely…Thanks for sharing an amazing blog…

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