Last week, I was psyching myself up for Quilt’s album release at the MFA (Plaza dropped Friday from Mexican Summer) when I first stumbled upon the video for “Roller”, the second track off of the new album. Watching it once turned into watching it twice and then three times and then navigating through the clumsy YouTube app on my TV so I could watch it three more times on a bigger screen with louder speakers. Mesmerized, I was hooked on “Roller”–and anxious to see the band perform the complete album live.
Their performance didn’t disappoint– Quilt never does, really– and neither does Plaza. It retains the rich, familial warmth of earlier albums while exploring new corners of both psychedelia and, especially, pop. “Roller” is a perfect not-quite-electro pop song that sounds a hell of a lot like it could have been a lead single on a St. Vincent album (also see: “Hissing My Plea”). Meanwhile, “Eliot St.” (named after a street in Jamaica Plain) is sunny, jangly and contemplative. It drew comparisons to Real Estate from Pitchfork for good reason. But Quilt still knows how to jam. There’s definitely still room for the psychedelic sounds that, for many of us, brought us to this Boston-born group in the first place– check out songs like “Padova” and “Your Island” on the latter half of the album.
Plaza is out now via Mexican Summer. “Eliot Street” streams below.