Held in Splendor

Written by: BV on 23/09/2014 14:45:55

Earlier this year I saw Quilt act as support for The War on Drugs at their Copenhagen show and I was, to be quite blunt, intrigued because of how they handled themselves live. Granted, their songs made no profound impressions on me, but seeing as I quite dug them as a live act when I saw how they fluently transitioned from one track to another in sonic splendor, I figured that I might have to give their newest album, “Held in Splendor” a shot either way – even if I am horribly late, seeing as it came out in January.

Opening with “Arctic Shark”, there’s a definite indie-psych vibe going on here, with the track sticking to a relatively simplistic and somewhat quirky formula fueled by a subtly jangling guitar and Anna Rochinski’s vocals. Supplemented by a sitar near the chorus, it seems to me that the track excels at trying to be immensely psychedelic but neither the instrumentation nor the lyrics seem to ever be able to fully get me into that area. With “Eye of the Pearl” Quilt seem to be on a fairly more successful path as the lyrics here seem to have some kind of enthralling quality that simply lures me in, even though there is actually not that much going on in the track itself. I mean, the soundscape is fairly interesting but it lacks that sort of gritty grandeur that the band seemingly had going for them when I saw them perform live - as if the production is actually a bit too neat and polished for a band that is already quite polished in its stylistic approach.

Nearing something of an album highlight, “Tie up the Tides” is, perhaps, the most accomplished track on “Held in Splendor”, as it condenses what seems to be the very essence of Quilt into an immediately likeable track which, with its lingering weirdness and immediate pop-sensibility, has a way to really sneak in there and get stuck in the listeners brain – in spite of the odd chord progression and tempo here and there. The vocals on the track are softly spoken, and the band seems to work as a very tight unit on the track with the oddly mellow bass having taken up something close to indefinite residence in my head, as it seems to be the very first thing I recall every time I think of the track.

However, for every “Tie up the Tides” Quilt seem to have another two or three songs that are sadly forgettable as of this moment. I mean, I’ve seen them live and I’ve seen the promising potential of their future outcome, but “Held in Splendor” is still not the dazzling result one might initially expect it to be, if the only track one might have heard off of it is “Eye of the Pearl” or “Tie up the Tides”.

Download: Tie up the Tides, Eye of the Pearl
For the fans of: Woods, Morgan Delt, Amen Dunes
Listen: Facebook

Release date 28.01.2014
Mexican Summer

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