Second Story Garage: Plain White T’s

Tom Higgenson of Plain White T’s performs “Hey There Delilah” at Second Story Garage music video studio in Boulder, Colorado.

The Plain White T’s shot to fame in 2007 with “Hey There Delilah,” a two-time Grammy-nominated song that for some bands might have been one of those achievements never to be topped. But in subsequent releases, the T’s proved capable of consistent hit-making. Songs such as “1, 2, 3, 4” and “Rhythm of Love,” like “Delilah,” are melodic gems and commercial gold.

They’re doing more of the same with their latest album, this year’s American Nights. The title track is a summertime anthem and “Pause,” the album’s second track, shares the pop contours and power of some of Taylor Swift’s best work.

The Chicago-bred band follows a down-the-middle musical path, but they bring smart lyrics to the mainstream, and when their music does go off-road, they handle it like pros. “Never Working,” a song that’s a highlight of American Nights and sounds as if it could have been a collaboration between John Lennon and Billie Joe Armstrong, begins: “I admit I don’t do nothing fast/I left town just to get off my ass.” Now that’s how you begin a rock song, kids.

The T’s were in Denver for a show at the Paramount Theatre when they stopped by the Garage to perform an acoustic set of their new material. They played “American Nights” and “Pause.” They also made a run at “Never Working,” but the acoustic arrangement just didn’t click. So the rest of the band took five while singer Tom Higgenson did a solo version of “Hey There Delilah” for us. The band then sat down with Quentin and talked about their new music.

What they brought us: A signed copy of their new CD, American Nights.

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