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Published: 2016/01/12
by Justin Jacobs

Quilt
Plaza

For the past five years, Boston quartet Quilt have quietly bubbled under the surface, while laid-back, like-minded peers like Real Estate, Woods and Kurt Vile have floated to the top of the heap. But any discerning listener would wage that 2016 will be their year. Quilt’s third album Plaza is a masterwork of mood-setting psychedelic rock, jilted enough to rope in lovers of the strange, but just straightforward enough—with eminently hummable melodies and crisp arrangements—to capture the attention of more conservative fans who might shy away from anything “acid-soaked.” Quilt’s 2013 album, Held In Splendor, capitalized on colorful and frayed threads tied together into a beautifully blended, well, quilt. On Plaza, Quilt presents a more dressed-up version of its sublimely mellow, thumping psych. The songs are tighter and punchier, with twirling string flourishes hinting toward the refined pop grandeur of The Kinks and middle-era Beatles. As such, when Shane Butler chants (in a recognizably deadpan Lennon delivery), “She can’t remember when she felt her own age” on “Searching For,” you can’t help but feel like he’s singing about his own band. Quilt is wonderfully lost in time. Butler trades vocal duties with Anna Rochinski. Neither steals the show, meaning that all 10 tracks sound equally Quilt. At times, it’s an airy, pastel daydream, and at times, it’s a guitar-pop wonderland, no matter which voice leads the pack. As “O’Connor’s Barn” grooves along, Rochinski asks, “Are you lookin’ for an answer? Are you lookin’ for a cure? Maybe you should want more.” With Plaza, how could you?

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