Quilt is like gravity; it has it’s own pull. Most forces are dual in nature, meaning they have both light and dark sides. Gravity is unique in that it does not possess this characteristic. Gravity only attracts and never repels, explaining why humans are nurtured in Earth’s atmosphere instead of floating into the perils of space.
Though I only recently discovered the band while investigating Treefort’s 2016 lineup, I was immediately drawn to Quilt. “Artic Shark” was my introduction to Quilt’s sophisticated yet amiable compositions, charming harmonies, and cosmic lyrical content. After the band released its self-titled album in 2011, Quilt embarked on several tours, recorded two more well-received albums, and collected a loyal following along the way.
Anna Rochinski, Keven Lareau, Shane Butler, and John Andrews are people we want to know. It’s not like wanting to know, out of some twisted curiosity, artists like Sam Ray, or Mark Kozeleck. Members of Quilt feel like people from a different time, who exemplify the carefree, flower child nature associated with decades in the later 20th century. It seems cliché to call a four-piece band named after a blanket, warm, but there are few words more appropriate. The group is a soft glow in the universe, easing the woes of our temporary existence.
Following their set at the Neurolux in Boise, which I heard was fantastic, the band trekked 12 hours to Denver in their tour van, Big Earl. After making the same drive two days earlier, I spent an entire day sleeping. Not Quilt! Those champs played 17 songs for Larimer Lounge and its inhabitants, pausing primarily to thank the crowd for being so wonderful. “We really love Denver. Everyone we’ve talked to has been so nice to us.” I was delighted to hear the band crashed with members of opening group Ancient Elk, several of the most warm-hearted humans in town.
Quilt played their album Plaza, which debuted in February, in its entirety. They also performed songs from prior albums Held in Splendor and Quilt, including “Eye of the Pearl”, “Tie Up the Tides”, and “Penobska Oakwalk”. Midway through the set, drummer John announced, “It’s time for the drummer to sing a song. If you have to go to the bathroom now would be a great time.” Anna responded, “John’s wearing overalls. It’s not easy to go to the bathroom in overalls.” Unexpectedly, “Something There” was one of my favorite songs from the evening. John, you have a lovely voice! In fact, they all do. Each member contributes vocals, producing a dynamic and fittingly full sound.
I cannot conclude this review without raving about keyboard player June West, who is currently touring with Quilt. Not only is she absolutely stunning (brilliant black hair, red lipstick, adorable striped sweater), the sunny sounds of her Roland Juno 2 were a splendid addition to Quilt’s performance. I was disappointed when initially she did not return for the encore. Fortunately, she rejoined the Quilt family for final songs “Your Island” and “Own Ways”, the last two tracks from Plaza.
Thank you to the cosmos for a beautiful Tuesday evening spent with Quilt. I’d also like to thank Denver band Flaural, who recently played with Quilt, for highly recommending the band and encouraging friends to attend. Delightful, utterly delightful!
Written by: Haley Midzor