Small Houses

North

Written by: TL on 25/03/2012 22:11:09

Keeping at it with the catching up on overdue reviews, the next artist tonight is Small Houses, a moniker used by Michigan singersongwriter Jeremy Quentin for a project in which he employs mainly his own talents as a singer, guitarist and pianist to create laid back, sentimental indie-folk tunes highly similar to those of trendy outfits like Bon Iver, Ben Howard and The Tallest Man On Earth. When I write mainly it's because you might initially think that debut album "North" is comprised only of Quentin's playing his own instruments, but there are actually several guests helping out with the likes of drums, lapsteel, bass, mandolin, violin, banjo and pedal steel.

This means that when it needs to, "North" can actually call on the talents of a pretty eclectic selection of folk/country instruments, as showcased perfectly by a highlight such as "In The Lawn", which is mainly driven by banjo, violin and drums and even includes female backing vocals. Meanwhile a song like "Country Flowers" is pretty much exclusively acoustic guitar and Quentin's small, airy voice, yet it isn't any worse off for it.

In general however, I must admit that "North" has been more of a record of atmospheric mood music for me, perfect especially for soundtracking my slow spring mornings, more so than a record of diverse, recognisable songs that I remember and hum the melodies from after the album has run its course. It's not a record about which there's a lot of things to be said or a lot of observations to be made. It's classy folk, the kind of which you should easily enjoy if such music is generally your thing, but it's also at least one step away from having as memorable a personality to it, as the biggest names in the genre has. I say get it and give it some spins when you're having a casual times, and then if you like it, keep an eye out to see if Mr. Quentin takes a step up on any subsequent efforts.

7

Download: Country Flowers, In The Lawn
For The Fans Of: Ben Howard, Bon Iver, The Tallest Man On Earth, José Gonzales
Listen: smallhousessing.com

Release Date 06.10.2011
Self-released

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