Quiet Life | Act Natural (Safety Meeting)

cd_quiet-life.jpgBy "Were You Singing," they show they can be more than just a country folk band by making a danceable rock track.




In a sea of indie bands, it’s nice to step back and listen to a band that isn’t that. Quiet Life have a unique blend of a good-old-boys band mixed with a touch of bluegrass and finished off with a bit of classic rock ‘n’ roll. A country folk rock band, if you will.

The Quiet Life may come from New London, Conn., but they have sound that is deeply Southern country. On their first album Act Natural, the band takes you through musical moods, from the first track "Trying to Get Home" all the way to "Niantic Bay Blues" at the end.

The record stars out with a slow bar ballad, then the country vibe builds in "Leah" by adding steel guitar. By "Were You Singing," they show they can be more than just a country folk band by making a danceable rock track.

Then once you think that you’ve figured out the pattern of the album, a slow song arises in "California" to showcase a simplistic banjo and upright bass; all the while, the vocals—mix of Shout Out Louds meets country angst—blend so well together.

The rest of the album varies from country jams such as "Wedding Suit" to rock songs like "Every Dime" and "Head in the Clouds." There are a few surprises, as in "Did You Love Me" which starts off as an innocent slow country song, then builds to a country rock-out that layers in trumpet with a splash of keys and a multiple guitar breakdown.

The biggest surprise is at the end in "Niantic Bay Blues," where it is exactly that: a blues song. You can see the smoke swirling in the air and sense a feeling of heartache as a harmonica cuts into the song like a knife, ending with a classic jam.

The best part of the album is how many different instruments the band utilizes to get their point across, from a harmonica to a banjo to the steel guitar. Standout tracks include "California" and "Nighttime"; the latter simplistic in lyrics—but that’s what makes it so rich. You can see the singer sitting on the back porch singing the song under a full moon.

I’m not the foremost fan of country and folk bands, but I can appreciate a good harmonica or a perfectly placed banjo. This is why I enjoyed Quiet Life’s Act Natural. It’s worth a listen and, in some cases, maybe more. B | Josh Schobert

RIYL: Shout Out Louds, Ryan Adams, Wilco

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