Quiet Hollers were one of the first bands I wrote about on here. Of the thousands of songs I've listened to since for the sake of the blog, there are several from their debut album, I Am the Morning, that routinely trundle their way through my head. The point is, Shadwick Wilde writes some memorable songs.
The band has traded its punk-rock, heart-on-its sleeve ethos for a gentler sound. Less Laura Jane Grace (that's what Wilde's sudden, alarming transports from singing to delivering maxims calls to mind) and more Neil Young, Quiet Hollers swerves from the direction I expected for the band's sophomore album, and in so doing surpasses my own high expectations.
In terms of subject matter, the band effortlessly glides between the ordinary tale of an ordinary frustrated writer ("Mont Blanc Pen") to an unassuming number about a hit man ("Cote d'Azur") to biblical proclamations of the end of days ("Flood Song.") These songs certainly have elements of emotional truth -- they're every bit as engaging as Wilde's back catalog about the frustrations of being in a tutoring band -- but the intricate details in these character studies are rewarding in their own right and a testament to the strength of the writer. In short, the band not only avoided a sophomore slump, Quiet Hollers completely obliterates the concept.
If you like what you hear, the band will be touring in the Northeast to fete the album's release. Since they're playing late at night on a Sunday here in New York City, I implore you all to show up and buy a t-shirt for me. Check their Facebook page for dates.
Quiet Hollers -- Official, Facebook, Bandcamp, Pre-order/purchase from the band here