Quilt / Young Magic
/ Birthdays / Headband
Sunday, Jul 01, 2012 9:15 PM EDT
(9:00 PM Doors)
Great Scott, Allston, MA
18 years and over
Although now firmly settled in New York City, Young Magic's three members came together through equal helpings of openness and fortuity. In 2010, singer and producer Isaac Emmanuel had left his home continent of Australia to travel across Europe, over to New York, and down through Mexico, all the while creating and recording music with whatever instruments he found along the way. While in Mexico, Emmanuel kept a tight correspondence with fellow Australian expat Michael Italia, who for months had been similarly traveling across Europe and South America with portable recording gear in tow. They decided to meet up in New York, where their good friend from a few years prior, Indonesian-born vocalist Melati Malay, had been living and making her own recordings. In early 2011 the three friends, who had initially bonded over their broad musical palettes, began recording together and contributing songs to the record, culling influences and finding their own footing among them.
It’s not uncommon to form a band while in college, and that is exactly what Quilt did. Its founding members, Shane Butler and Anna Fox Rochinski were visual art students at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, but bonded over their mutual love of weird, experimental jams and classic pop harmonies. John Andrews joined the band as drummer after opening for every Quilt show on tour in 2009. Butler grew up in a “community with a lot of musical chanting” and Rochinski was “doing classical singing in choirs that had a lot of crazy harmonies. There’s a lot of repetitive, almost mantra stuff in our songs,” she adds. Quilt is a band with strong roots that formed at the apex of the point in your life when you’re thinking about your own art and what it all means.
From the gorgeous two and three-part harmonies that pepper every track to the twinkling guitar that floats over everything, this is wandering music made up of expansive, cinematic moments, brought home by those harmonies. Singing at the same time, Butler and Rochinski are the core, sounding both powerful and intimate while letting their voices go thin and then build up to a concrete thickness. At points, when all three members sing, it’s a revalation. “Penobska Oakwalk” sounds already classic, Rochinski rounding out Butler’s melancholy with subtle power, while “Gome Home” is all bluster, thudding bass, footstomps and faint, swirling desolation. “Philosophically and musically we’re very attuned in a lot of ways,” Butler says. It’s visual music without any visuals. Quilt’s music is so vivid that we don’t even need them.