Zoned In: Quilt: Quilt

Boston's Quilt really couldn't have come up with a better name for themselves; the patchwork approach seems a fitting explanation for their electric and eclectic brand of Americana. In quilt-making, the final image of the art object differs widely from that of its individual squares. The same is true of their self-titled debut for Mexican Summer. Despite being composed of wandering guitar riffs, mantric drum repetition, and throwback folk vocal harmonies that paint a vast and vivid panorama, the end result is an accessible, smartly structured, coming-of-age pop record that brings to mind the more realist excursions of Galaxie 500 or Yo La Tengo.

That's not to suggest that the mesmerizing pedal tone jams that layer "Utopian Canyon" or "Children of Light" should be ignored-- Quilt readily confess that this album was birthed from weird improvisations, performances, and a mutual fascination with spirituality in music and the visual arts. However, it's refreshing to hear moments of real storytelling and progression in an era where the term "visual" is often misappropriated to delay-ridden drones of indistinguishable sound. The masterful pacing in longer, evolving epics like "Cowboys In The Void" or "Milo" makes moments like the explosive, harmonized yowl in the third minute of the former or the sharp tempo change around the second minute of the latter that much more exciting. Quilt is an open-ended drama where, fresh out of childhood, college, or an old phase of life, we're asked what we are going to do next. --Matt Sullivan, Altered Zones

Quilt is out now on Mexican Summer

Tags: quilt, audio, zoned in

Posted by alteredzones on 11/11/2011 at noon.

Altered Zones' CMJ Guide 2011

CMJ is finally here! While we couldn't be more stoked to present our own party at the New Museum this Saturday with Trash Talk, Eric Copeland, araabMUZIK, and Atlas Sound, among others, there's four other nights of music to behold. Read on to see the CMJ shows that you absolutely can't miss. --Ric Leichtung, Altered Zones

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Quilt: "Penobska Oakwalk"

The freak-folk movement may have peaked about half a decade ago, but there's no reason to believe that it was entirely exhausted as a form. And as long as young people continue to be seduced by the notion of a greener, more salutary, pre-Industrial past, there's no stopping them from trying to reconnect with those past musical languages that keep it alive. (Of course, post-modern technologies like the Internet help quite a bit.) As Quilt, Boston's Anna Rochinski, Shane Butler, and John Andrews, and Taylor Mcvay's join in the hunt for lost authenticity with their own, vividly colored back-to-the-land fantasy. "Penobska Oakwalk," a track from their forthcoming Mexican Summer debut, manages to combine classic Neil Young bass bounce with ISB bardisms and three-part harmony à la Jefferson Airplane and still sound, well, uniquely itself. Whether this is the result of above-par songwriting, or simply the scupulous combination of carefully selected reference points, is your guess as well as mine. --Emilie Friedlander, Altered Zones

MP3: Quilt: "Penobska Oakwalk"

Quilt LP is out November 7th via Mexican Summer

--Previously:

MP3: Quilt: "Cowboys In The Void"

Tags: quilt, audio

Posted by alteredzones on 09/14/2011 at 1 p.m..

Quilt: "Cowboys In The Void"

While I was watching Quilt play down at SXSW a fortnight ago, AZ editor Emilie Friedlander leaned over to tell me that they had to be from Massachusetts. That Quilt's sound is so regionally distinctive says as much about their music as it does about any artist associated with, say, the LA "Beat Scene," or San Francisco garage. On "Cowboys in the Void", the dreamy, male/female three-part harmonies of Anna Rochinski, Shane Butler, and John Andrews curl around a central melody as fibrous guitar lines cascade over a slow, steady pulse. Their vocals are catchy, fragile, intricate-- like something you and your two best friends might practice beneath a secluded forest canopy.

"Cowboys In The Void" recalls the '60s/'70s throwback psych-folk of New Weird America bands like Espers, Sunburned Hand of the Man, and Feathers. When the pace gathers, and the guitar takes over from vocals, Dean Warhem's influence also looms large. And yet, despite influences or comparisons, Quilt have forged a captivating universe of psychedelica, dream-pop, and folk-- full of warmth, sure, but also a calmness and a peacefulness that leaves us longing for New England green. --Daniel Gottlieb, Altered Zones

MP3: Quilt: "Cowboys In The Void"

Hear more via Bandcamp. Quilt's Agents of Play 7" is out on Breakfast of Champs, and their debut Gome Home LP is in the works for release

Tags: quilt, audio

Posted by alteredzones on 03/29/2011 at 4 p.m..

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