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Quilt — Held in Splendor (2014)

Quilt — Held in Splendor (2014)

USA Flag                Quilt — Held in Splendor
≈   Quilt weave a tapestry of float-away guitars, Eastern melodies, and languid, intimate harmonies for a modern take on psychedelic folk.
Formed: Boston, MA
Location: Boston
Album release: January 28, 2014
Record Label: Mexican Summer (MEX149)
Duration:     43:18
Tracks:
01 Arctic Shark     2:38
02 Saturday Bride     3:49
03 Eye of the Pearl     3:17
04 Mary Mountain     5:01
05 Tie Up the Tides     3:33
06 The Hollow     1:51
07 A Mirror     2:59
08 Just Dust     2:29
09 The World Is Flat     2:05
10 Tired & Buttered     3:01
11 Secondary Swan     4:39
12 Talking Trains     2:32
13 I Sleep in Nature     5:13
2014 Kemado Records, Inc. d/b/a Mexican Summer                                                          © Allison Pharmakis
Personnel:
Δ   John Andrews: Vocals, Drums
Δ   Anna Rochinski: Vocals, Guitar, Organ
Δ   Shane Butler: Vocals, Guitar
Album Moods: Amiable/Good-Natured Bittersweet Calm/Peaceful Circular Dreamy Druggy Flowing Freewheeling Hypnotic Pastoral Playful Poignant Quirky Reflective Trippy Warm
Themes: Dreaming Hanging Out Reflection Spring Summer The Creative Side
DESCRIPTION
Δ   When the three members of Quilt arrived in New York City in April to begin the intensive recording process for their second album, the new and aptly named Held in Splendor, they stepped directly into spring. Anna Fox Rochinski, Shane Butler and John Andrews had spent much of the previous several months clutched away at “The Puritan Garage” in Boston’s Charlestown, shielding themselves from a winter of blizzards with the haven of their practice space and a set of fresh songs.
Δ   Since the release of their 2011 self-titled debut on Mexican Summer, they’d become more than kids just out of college. They’d become a bona fide hard-touring band, with stories to share from the road and experiences to distill into the narrative of new music. Δ   Though they continued to write and arrange tunes together, always an essential part of Quilt’s creative process, they brought songs to one another, too, making and modifying demo tapes for the first time. No longer rookies, Quilt began to approach their music like a lifeline. Coming to New York, then, just as the magnolia trees bloomed and the season of new life began to blossom, Quilt got to work.
Δ   “That was,” says Rochinski, “a magical time to be making a record.”
Δ   Indeed, when Butler talks about recording the kaleidoscopic Held in Splendor, he seems to speak of an ornate children’s playground. Whereas their first album was made mostly for free and mostly by friends over the course of a year of starts and stops, in sessions that captured the early and elemental and exciting efforts of a band finding its footing, Quilt entered the proper in-house studio located beneath the Mexican Summer offices in Brooklyn for this one. They’d allocated a solid month for recording, and they clocked full days, every day, with Woods member and producer Jarvis Taveniere.
Δ   The approach was wide-open: They tuned drums and recorded the same song with multiple microphone set-ups. They added bass and invited friends who added saxophone and violin, cello and steel guitar. They built this album together.
Δ   “We would go in for 10 hours a day, six days a week, and we just made sounds and jokes for the entire time. It was an incredible way to make a record,” Butler says. “We were able to flesh out the songs in crazy ways we’d never imagined: There are all these loop-based drones beneath the songs, and we used more pedals than we’d ever used before.”
Δ   Held in Splendor is is an audacious pop-rock record with cascading harmonies and billowing textures, punchy rhythms and snarled guitars, wonderful depth and resplendent peaks. “Mary Mountain” takes hazy Summer of Love memories on a mid-summer road trip in a gleaming muscle car. “Tired & Buttered” invites Booker T over for an energy-addled jam in the garage. “The Hollow” twinkles like Fleetwood Mac and Galaxie 500, with sweet singing backed by the lap steel sighs of young acoustic guitar star and longtime Quilt pal Daniel Bachman. Held in Splendor is an album of personal poetry and public questions, confessions and aspirations — really, these 13 tracks are their own playground, brimming with the sort of unapologetic energy and wonder that turns simple songs into absolute anthems.
Δ   “We’re really attracted to records where each song has its own voice. We wanted to focus on what each song had to say,” Butler explains. “Having the studio, demoing the songs and knowing each other better as musicians helped make that happen. That was a really exciting process for us.”
Review by Heather PharesScore: ****
Δ   Quilt‘s version of psychedelic pop, which nodded to the sound’s ’60s heyday with jangly guitars, intricate harmonies, and gently rambling songs, was already pretty fully realized on their self-titled debut. Their second album, Held in Splendor, feels like both a continuation and a dramatic evolution from their early days. Shane Butler, Anna Fox Rochinski, and John Andrews bring more form and focus to their trips; that they were able to record these songs in an intense set of sessions, instead of over the course of a year like they did with their debut, only helps their coherence.
Δ   Working with Woods‘ Jarvis Taveniere was also an inspired choice, since his music also feels like both a long-lost discovery and utterly fresh. With his help, Held in Splendor‘s writing and production values have all taken several steps forward. The fuller arrangements and instrumentation on “A Mirror,” where the bassline provides a strong and sinuous backbone, and “Tired & Buttered,” where a woozy saxophone captures the feeling of being pleasantly half-asleep, deliver the depth that was hinted at on Quilt. There’s a lysergic brightness and sparkle to the album’s sound, particularly on opening track and former single “Arctic Shark,” where Rochinski ponders “heavy dreams” and “newborn forms” over sitar-like guitars (as on Quilt, Rochinski and Butler’s dulcet voices lend an earnestness to their mystical musings that makes them sweetly idealistic instead of tiresome). Everything feels more distilled, whether it’s the urgency behind “Eye of the Pearl”‘s pointed pop, or the way Quilt pack more twists, turns, and breakdowns into these songs than they did before — and sound more natural and confident doing so. The standout is “Mary Mountain,” where the band expresses the earthiest and airiest sides of psych rock in garagey riffs and stratospheric drones. However, there’s just as much depth in dreamy glimpses like “Tie Up the Tides” and “Talking Trains,” which reveals a kinship with British folk from the era that Quilt love so much. Even more than on their debut, Held in Splendor shows that Quilt are defined, but not confined, by their affinity for the sounds of the ’60s. Instead, they’re using it in ways that may be slightly more down to earth but also cover more ground.
Artist Biography by Heather Phares
Δ   The brainchild of Shane Butler and Anna Fox Rochinski, who formed the band while studying at Boston's School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Quilt craft psychedelic pop that evokes '60s idealism without feeling too indebted to it. Butler was raised in a spiritual community that expressed itself with musical chanting, while Rochinski's flair for vocal harmonies came from her time in classical choirs. With founding drummer Taylor McVay, Quilt issued several cassettes' worth of material before working with Apollo Sunshine's Jesse Gallagher on their self-titled debut album for the better part of a year; Mexican Summer released Quilt late in 2011. McVay departed the band amicably, making way for John Andrews, who opened for the band on every stop of its 2009 tour. Their time on the road honed their playing and writing, and when it came time to record their second album in April 2013 with Woods' Jarvis Taveniere, Quilt spent 60 hours a week in the studio underneath Mexican Summer's Brooklyn office. Widening their palette to include bass, saxophone, and strings, Quilt released their second album, Held in Splendor, in January 2014.
Label: http://www.mexicansummer.com/
Bandcamp: http://quiltmusic.bandcamp.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/QUILTMUSIC
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/quiltmusic
Tumblr: http://quiltinthevoid.tumblr.com
Press: jacob@pitchperfectpr.com // shelby@mexicansummer.com // paulmccarthysquilt@gmail.com
Agent: US // Doug Croy // doug@windishagency.com Europe/UK // Nikita Lavrinenko // nikita@paperandironbooking.com
ON TOUR
2-1 Portsmouth, NH @ The Press Room (w/ Doug Tuttle and Creaturos)
2-3 Baltimore, MD @ Coward Shoe (w/ Early Universe)
2-4 Pittsburgh, PA @ Brillobox (w/ Shakey Shrines, Butterbirds)
2-5 Columbus, OH @ Ace of Cups
2-6 Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle (w/ Plastic Crimewave Syndicate, Ne-Hi)
2-7 Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry (w/ Teenage Moods, The Velveteens)
2-10 Seattle, WA @ Barboza
2-11 Vancouver, BC @ The Media Club
2-12 Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios (w/ Big Haunt, Eternal Tapestry)
2-14 San Francisco, CA @ Bottom of the Hill (w/ The Spyrals)
2-15 Los Angeles, CA @ The Satellite
2-16 San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar
2-17 Phoenix, AZ @ Last Exit Live (w/ Numb Bats)
2-20 Austin, TX @ The Mohawk (w/ Love Inks)
2-21 Dallas, TX @ City Tavern
2-22 Houston, TX @ Fitzgerald’s
2-24 Atlanta, GA @ 529 (w/ Small Reactions, Abby Gogo)
2-25 Chapel Hill, NC @ Local 506 (w/ Daniel Bachman)
2-27 Philadelphia, PA @ Boot & Saddle (w/ Mike Bruno and The Black Magic Family Band)
2-28 Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade (w/ Weyes Blood)
3-1 Boston, MA @ Great Scott (w/ CreaturoS)
3-2 Montreal, QC, Canada @ Casa del Popolo
3-3 Toronto, ON, Canada @ The Drake
4-1 Bristol, UK @ Start The Bus
4-2 London, UK @ Windmill Brixton
4-4 Rotterdam, Netherlands @ Motel Mozaique
4-5 Amsterdam, Netherlands @ De Nieuwe Anita
4-7 Zürich, Switzerland @ El Lokal
4-8 Düdingen, Switzerland @ Bad Bonn
4-9 Forli, Italy @ Diagonal
4-10 Roma, Italy @ Blackmarket
4-11 Padova, Italy @ Pulse
4-12 Freiburg, Germany @ Swamp
4-14 Berlin, Germany @ Kantine am Berghain
4-15 Hamburg, Germany @ Astra-Strube
4-16 Köln, Germany @ King Georg
4-17 Gent, Belgium @ Charlatan
4-18 Brussels, Belgium @ Beursschouwburg
4-19 Paris, France @ Espace B
By BOB BOILEN
January 19, 201411:00 PM
Quilt is the perfect name for this band, whose every song seems to seamlessly knit together at least three distinct tunes. There's a sense of adventure, shifting perspectives and surprise in these pop treasures, each of which feels like a long jam distilled to its essence. At their heart are harmonies and guitars that recall the golden age of The Byrds, whose own high, ringing guitar tones were mixed with two- and three-part vocal harmonies.
In Quilt, those harmonies primarily belong to Shane Butler and Anna Fox Rochinski, who also play the guitar lines that intertwine with their voices. In addition to arranging strings, drummer John Andrews often lends a third voice. Held in Splendor is the second album from this band of visual artists, who found each other at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Quilt crafted these songs in their record label's basement studio over the course of a month; with that relative freedom and time to stretch out, its members expanded their sound, bringing on friends to add cello, violin, saxophone and steel guitar. The spirited and casual result makes a great first impression, of the kind that almost inevitably leads to many more. (http://www.npr.org/)
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Quilt — Held in Splendor (2014)

 

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