The band rocks a sublimely spacey, band-as-family style that wouldn't sound out of place on the corner of Haight and Ashbury, circa 1968. With elements of acid folk and psych-pop, their sunny, meandering little ditties are framed by gentle percussion and harmonies that evoke thoughts of the Mamas and the Papas. Their new album, "Held in Splendor," the source of 3 of the songs in this session, could be the soundtrack for rolling around on a blanket in the sun and taking pictures of friends in fields with the "Toasted" filter: simple fun with a throwback wash.
Like the intricate coverlets after which they were named, however, Quilt's music has a quality that deepens upon further review. The mellow layers of bright yet knotty guitars, flirtations with mood and tone and harmonies sound as if they come from far more than three people and provide interesting textures that underscore the band's attention to detail.
Band members Anna Fox Rochinski, Shane Butler, John Andrews and Keven Lareau have earned their touring bona fides playing shows in basements in a largely improvisational music scene. Sharing the stage with art students and improvisational acts has translated to an ease with experimentation that is evident during their live performances. There's a good chance that if you're seeing them perform, you're hearing something no one else has.
Rochinski's quivery soprano is distinctive but never overpowers Butler's full, reverb-soaked guitar work. Each song is exquisitely crafted, employing a mixed-methods approach to composition, with frequent shifts in key and tempo that course through and double back from verse to chorus to bridge. From constrained and hushed to hollers and kick drums, Quilt wraps a variety of sounds around a base layer of chords and tight harmonies. The result is something old and something new, something familiar and a little strange.