"the curve of things"
"the curve of things"
Music lovers have a privilege that is common to all arts. Although not unique, it is amazing how music allows us to combine different styles, cultures, memories and stories. And sometimes, having the opportunity to be in my position and to listen to so many different artists, makes all the more sweet to see (or rather, listen) to how certain styles and artists influenced the band or musician I am listening to.
our quiet friends, a 3-piece band from Norwich, they mix heavy psychedelic energy, hypnotic rhythms and kaleidoscope melodies with folk lyricism, and today they are self-releasing their latest EP “The Curve of Things”.
Formed from former members of BK & Dad, Cakes & Ale and We Sold Gold, their sound truly embodies these styles to create almost a unique style of their own.
Leo (baritone guitar), Joe (drums) and Ed (guitar/synths) are inspired by their “connection to nature, the beauty of science and the universal spirituality of things”. And it was such connection to nature that gave the band their name. It is a singular purpose to provide sound to nature – the quietude of nature inspired them to make a “very loud noise for the weeds, the rocks, the water, the muck, the bugs, the germs, the animals, the birds, the trees. The trees”.
When we first talked about this review, I asked about their influences. They mention Syd Barrett, Mount Kimbie, Faust and Black Sabbath, among them. And I was amazed at how much they truly tapped into these artists, and how beautiful this combination become.
The EP starts with the track “The Arrow”. Inspired by Jamie James’ book The Music of the Spheres, which traces the relationship between music and science from the time of Pythagoras to the present day, it immediately captivates the listener as you dive into its sound.
Beginning with an electronic wave, as you press your ears against the headphones or increase the volume on your speakers, an almost classic/hard rock guitar kicks in with a steady drum pace carried by a cow bell (which is something I haven’t heard in a while, and I love on the drums when it replaces the hi-hat). And the voice track on this song is so beautiful – a deeper voice and slowly paced, creating a psychedelic feels of the late 60’s and 70’s, especially when the backing vocals come in.
And in this first track you can almost listen to all of their influences at one – the structure of Syd Bennett, some electronic elements from Mount Kimbie, and even a hard rock end with key parts of Black Sabbath.
The lyrics of the this track embodies the folk element, where the story of the book is brought to music in a beautiful way…“we are organs of time playing the changes of spheres”.
The second track “Big Sky”, once again highlights their touch into the psychedelic elements of music, as well their description of kaleidoscope melodies – where in this track you can see in the vocal tracks, as the lead carries one line, the backing vocals intertwine in a different pace. It is hypnotising.
In this track I also felt a slight influence from U2 on the guitar sounds and drums as it played the floor tom to pace the track. I was just mesmerised with the result of this track, and how the unique mix formed a gorgeous track.
“Come By” is a more fast paced track, at least in the beginning. The second longest track in the EP, it takes you through a seven and a half minute journey. This track, at least to me, shows some influence from an English Underground rock, and the voice here even takes me to bands like The Cure and The Smiths during the first part.
Almost in the exact middle of the track, it starts slowing and slowing down, and becomes an amazing instrumental journey, filled with high-pitched guitar sounds, that stretches the limits of time and space.
I am in love with this track, by the way.
Finally, “Constellations”, the longest track here, and one of those songs with a perfect name. Right from the beginning, you feel like you are travelling through space. In fact, when I was listening to the album for about the 10th or 15th time (I’m not sure here), I felt almost as if the previous track started as a rocket launch into space. And as you started reaching the Earth’s orbit, you start floating in the lack of gravity, and the song starts slowing down.
And this last track, it still carries on the slow paced beginning, as you settle into this sensation of lack of weight. And it continues into “acceptance” of this new existence.
A curious second part, with a broken time signature in some parts, a classic rock psychedelic track once again, its lyrics are a little more pessimist: “we can’t go back, we’re never going back”.
This track has yet a third “part”, as at the end, it turns back into an instrumental hard rock, with electronic notes, that is truly amazing.
our quiet friends is a band that has captivated me for its ability to combine so much and create something so unique – the ability to almost create your own style is something to be cherished and savoured. I will dive more in more into their sound, and keep hoping that this blend of past bands and personal influences creates even more sounds together.
If you are in the Norwich region, they will be playing their release concert today (11/10) at the Norwich Arts Centre along with Acid Mother’s Temple. And they have two more dates scheduled, playing at the Wild Paths Festival (Last Pub Standing) in Norwich on the 20th of October, as well as the Hunter Club, Bury St Edmunds on the 2nd of November.