Hear 'Eliot St.' From A New Album By Quilt : All Songs Considered Familiar, warm harmonies and nostalgia for a troubled time echo through the first song from Quilt's new album, Plaza, out on Feb. 26.
NPR logo Hear 'Eliot St.' From A New Album By Quilt

Hear 'Eliot St.' From A New Album By Quilt


I'm happy to have new music from the harmonious and ethereal band Quilt. The Boston quartet's 2014 album, Held in Splendor, is a favorite of mine. Their third album, Plaza, is coming on Feb. 26, and this first new song "Eliot St.," is a pleasant extension of the band's sound.

"Eliot St." begins with guitar reminiscent of John Lennon's strummed opening to The Beatles' "A Day in the Life" and includes a very bubbly Paul McCartney-esque bass line from Quilt's new bassist Keven Lareau. The song was written by Shane Butler, who said via email that the song is about his memories walking that Boston street and calling his mother "to confess my troubles, triumphs and questions in life." Shane says:

"The first part of the song was written over a period of time in which I found myself isolated from the city I had lived in for years, entered an emotionally rocky relationship which slowly disintegrated, and experienced my mother's death. The choruses hover around the pain felt in moments of unknowing, feeling adrift and always 'one-step-away-from' the person or thing we wish to be close to. The bridge of the song serves as a devil's advocate of sorts; a wake-up call in the midst of despair. And the song's coda takes strength from the intention of the bridge to suggest a renewal, a 'second-wind', for a love once-lost."

To flesh out some of these ideas, the band performed the song with strings arranged by Simon Hanes. The sound that resembles a Mellotron I discovered is drummer John Andrews playing a Wurlitzer through a distortion pedal. And of course the strength in Quilt are those familiar, warm harmonies including Andrews bu, in particular the interplay between Shane Butler and Anna Fox Rochinski. I look forward to being kept cozy this winter with the release of Plaza.