At one point, all the members of Quilt were students at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. And it shows—that school‘s grade-free credit system encourages artists to find their own voice via the open pursuit of new, self-directed art forms. And Quilt has their own voice, for sure. The most striking thing about the band is their directly cerebral sound, rooted in the psychedelic folk-rock of 1960′s America. Think of the classic bands of hippiedom, like Jefferson Airplane or Love. Similar to the way those bands transformed lyrical folk as part of the early American psychedelic movement, Quilt subtly evocates the surrealistic qualities of life’s everyday stories that we often take for granted.
But just being the only group around to play homage to those past greats doesn’t credential you as a meaningful new voice. In Quilt’s case, their qualifier is a unique approach to songwriting that results in cohesive and impeccably paced songs which end in places miles removed from their beginnings without ever having jarring the listener from trance. The band’s intentional wanderings are created via extended improvisations, in which the trio lovingly whittles away at song-form by speaking democratically with their instruments until a song eventually materializes. This meandering, communal approach lines up nicely with that ’67 Haight & Ashbury thing they’ve got going on, and the results are hard to argue with.
Quilt’s eponymous debut is available now on Mexican Summer.
Quilt - "Penobska Outwalk"