Posted on January 29th, 2014 (10:23 am) by Theresa Flanagan

With the ongoing folk pop flare-up, as well as the disco boom and return (or perhaps just continuation) of emo in 2013, there's been a lot of "revival" talk in the world of pop music. Quilt are more like a wormhole throwback hybrid of The Mamas and Papas and Jefferson Airplane (to make a blatantly overused comparison). The Boston trio of SMFA graduates released their well-received self-titled debut in 2011; now they're back with their sophomore record, Held In Splendor. Since the release of Quilt, the trio has changed up a bit with the departure of Taylor McVey and addition of John Andrews. They've fleshed out their sound with the addition of bass guitar and toned down the lo-fi fuzz, if only slightly. With production help from Woods' Jarvis Taveniere, Held In Splendor showcases the noticeably sharper and more sure development of Quilt, while retaining their pleasantly psychedelic folk roots.

Held In Splendor is the kind of record you just sit and chill to, letting the whole thing wash over you. Full of sweet harmonies, sway-inducing melodies and straight up jams, it's subtly addictive. Quilt was their fresh-faced debut, and Held In Splendor proves they've tempered their craft to great effect. There are a lot more instruments to be heard—strings, steel guitar, some winds, and a whole lot of bass. It would be very easy for this music to come off as contrived or overdone, but it never does. Winding around psychedelic sitar-filled reverberating swirls, lead single "Arctic Shark" makes for a smooth start. The next single out was "Tie up the Tides," sunny and sweet but with enough complexity to keep things interesting. From the pared down harmony and acoustic guitar of "Talking Trains" to the kicky, drum-driven exuberance of "A Mirror" Held In Splendor is a patchwork pieced together to create a variegated but thoroughly cohesive blend.

While Held In Splendor is making it's way to our ears in the middle of winter, the heart of it is pure spring. The music video for "Arctic Shark" is just as oddly psychedelic yet sweet as you might expect; check it out at the end of the post! The record was released on Mexican Summer in the US on January 28. Quilt will be touring North America through the month of February; check and see if they'll be anywhere near you here.

Track List:
1. Arctic Shark
2. Saturday Bride
3. Eye of the Pearl
4. Mary Mountain
5. Tie Up the Tides
6. The Hollow
7. A Mirror
8. Just Dust
9. The World is Flat
10. Tired & Buttered
11. Secondary Swan
12. Talking Swan
13. I Sleep in Nature

Quilt: Held In Splendor
Purchase at: Amazon | eMusic

Our Rating

80 / 100
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