Boston's Quilt really couldn't have come up with a better name for themselves; the patchwork approach seems a fitting explanation for their electric and eclectic brand of Americana. In quilt-making, the final image of the art object differs widely from that of its individual squares. The same is true of their self-titled debut for Mexican Summer. Despite being composed of wandering guitar riffs, mantric drum repetition, and throwback folk vocal harmonies that paint a vast and vivid panorama, the end result is an accessible, smartly structured, coming-of-age pop record that brings to mind the more realist excursions of Galaxie 500 or Yo La Tengo.
That's not to suggest that the mesmerizing pedal tone jams that layer "Utopian Canyon" or "Children of Light" should be ignored-- Quilt readily confess that this album was birthed from weird improvisations, performances, and a mutual fascination with spirituality in music and the visual arts. However, it's refreshing to hear moments of real storytelling and progression in an era where the term "visual" is often misappropriated to delay-ridden drones of indistinguishable sound. The masterful pacing in longer, evolving epics like "Cowboys In The Void" or "Milo" makes moments like the explosive, harmonized yowl in the third minute of the former or the sharp tempo change around the second minute of the latter that much more exciting. Quilt is an open-ended drama where, fresh out of childhood, college, or an old phase of life, we're asked what we are going to do next. --Matt Sullivan, Altered Zones
Quilt is out now on Mexican Summer