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    This summer has been a busy one for Louisville band Quiet Hollers: The group has spent the better part of two months on the road, dropping pieces of their new record along the way. The self-titled album will officially release on Oct. 23, but the band will be on the road, booked for a show in Philly – and so, they’re hosting a pre-release party on Oct. 17. You can buy tickets to the masquerade party and show, held at Headliners, here. Channeling the album’s aesthetic, there will be cake.

    We got our hands on an advance copy of the album and it’s been playing in the office ever since. The 10-track album was engineered and mixed by Kevin Ratterman (who’s also worked with My Morning Jacket, Houndmouth, Grace Potter and White Reaper) and draws on a range of musical influences – 90’s college rock, post punk, alt country – woven together with poignant lyrics and the emotive draw of violin.

    “It's a handmade rock n roll record— recorded onto magnetic tape with real, hand-played instruments.  That might not seem too special, but it seems like it's the exception these days,” says Shadwick Wilde, principal songwriter and singer for the band. The album was funded through a successful Indiegogo campaign and is releasing just four months after wrapping up recording sessions.

    The band has been active for over two years, releasing their first album, "I Am The Morning" in 2013. If you want to listen to their older work, "Road Song" is a good place to start.

    “Liar Song,” which made its online debut around January of this year, is featured on the album and has been nominated for Louisville Music Awards Song of the Year (voting ends Oct. 9). The band has also been nominated for Rock/Pop Artist of the Year, with Wilde being nominated for Singer/Songwriter of the Year.

     

    “Aviator Shades” came out in June, giving us the first big taste of the album to come.

     

    The first official single released from “Quiet Hollers” is “Cote d’Azur,” hitting Spotify in August. It’s full of beautiful scenes of France, and what, at first listen, seems to be a somewhat upbeat look on life.

    It took about eight listens before I caught the lines, “And from the trunk I could hear his voice/ Beggin’ for his life like I had a choice/ Said he had a wife and two little boys/ And so I turned up the white noise” and suddenly, I fully understood how dark of a song it really was. Even though it’s pretty dark, it was hard to feel depressed or sad about it – the scenes are beautiful. The language sings about dreaming and seeing distant waves. How does such narrator come to be in such a beautiful place?

    “When ‘Cote d'Azur’ came out in August, I learned something which now seems really obvious:  it doesn't matter what I think my songs are about,” explains Wilde. “’Cote d'Azur’ is sung from the perspective of a hitman stuck in a traffic jam.  Now, that's what I think the song is about... and in all the reviews of that song (yes, I read reviews) nobody seemed to notice.  One writer said it was a daydreamer's anthem... that it was about freedom and longing.  Another guy said it was about regretting the past and looking toward the future.  None of that made any sense to me at first.  But when you put something out there into the world, it doesn't really belong to you any more and people will see it through their eyes, not yours.  Often, their interpretations land pretty far from where I might have imagined.  I guess what I mean is that everything is subjective.  I say ‘hitman,’ you hear  ‘daydreamer.’ Maybe it's both, maybe it's neither.”

    And the drive through Cannes? “In this case, I really did sit in traffic in the South of France for about seven hours, overlooking the pristine water and the beach-goers.  But of course, I didn't have a guy in my trunk, and I don't kill people for a living.  That all came later,“ jokes Wilde. 

    “Mont Blanc” released this September, becoming the first love song set during an apocalypse that I have ever listened to repeatedly. 

    “'Mont Blanc’ was another case of borrowing a personal experience to give to the song's narrator.  About two years ago, my wife Sarah and I moved to my family's farm outside Louisville.  It's kind of a rundown place, but it's secluded, hidden— the kind of place you'd want to be if the shit hit the proverbial fan.  I tried to imagine how I would feel, what might go through my mind, if the outside world crumbled into chaos and I still had to try to survive and protect my family.”

     

    These four songs make up the beginning of the album, followed by five tracks that each tell their own stories about everything from love to self-loathing. 

    The album ends with “Departure,” a song that is the sound of resolution. It’s the song at the end of the movie, playing as the anti-hero drives down the road, windows down.
    “And I feel like such a stranger/ Wish I could just be someone for a while.” The narrator’s feelings are the feelings that we’ve all had – self doubt and insignificance – with the wish, or the choice, to someday be better.

     

    All told, this is probably my favorite album this year. It’s the embodiment of “bummer rock,” but it’s weirdly hopeful. I can’t decide if the lyrics are secretly uplifting, or if it’s just nice to have something to commiserate with, but I listen to it and I feel good afterward. And, really, that’s my definition of a great record.

     

    Pre-order “Quiet Hollers” here, and don’t miss the masquerade – you’ll be one of the first to have a listen as the band plays the album live.

     

    Photo courtesy of Quiet Hollers Facebook page.

    Michelle Eigenheer's picture

    About Michelle Eigenheer

    A Louisville transplant beginning to appreciate all the city's small things.

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