I love Quiet Company, and Quiet Company loves love. Frontman Taylor Muse writes odes to the warm, gooey feelings you get when you’re alone with that special someone, and is probably alone in doing so amongst his contemporary indie rock peers. Most artists feel compelled to offer some kind of twist on the subject: the love is unrequited, imaginary, dark, anything to prevent from baring their soul to pure love. The result is that our loviest love songs often appear covered in the saccharine sheen of mainstream pop – like Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours,” which is a fine song but also one full of platitudes and lacking true emotional resonance. But love songs can be true and honest and real, and Quiet Company has proven that.
I’m a hopeless romantic at heart, and hence I’m a sucker for a good love song. I was immediately drawn to Quiet Company’s 2010 EP Songs For Staying In, because the songs were happy and hopeful with big arrangements and beautiful melodies. I wasn’t sure though, not having heard their previous two full-lengths, whether this was a concept for this particular EP or whether it was a theme of Muse’s songs. Well, Quiet Company recently released the first singles off of their upcoming album, We Are All Where We Belong, and has indicated rousingly that love remains a major part of their oeuvre.
While Muse is keeping love as the focus of his new material, it seems that he’s incorporating more death in his work. “Fear and Fallacy, Sitting in a Tree” has the refrain “I know my time is coming.” The above “You, Me, & the Boatman” uses death to reinforce the strength of his current love (“Lover won’t you stay with me / Until the Boatman comes for me / And he carries me across the sea?”). Sonically, the songs move from the pure sweetness of Songs For Staying In to a rockin’-er place, channeling turn-of-the-last-decade emo like Jimmy Eat World but with a horn section. As with yesterday’s post on Zorch, it’s great to see a band building on their sound/style and taking it to new directions. “You, Me, & the Boatman” closes, though, with the repeated phrase “Let’s live to love and love to live.” I still love Quiet Company, and Quiet Company still loves love.
We Are All Where We Belong is out October 4th, and Quiet Company will be playing next at Antone’s on August 19th with Suzanna Choffel.