John Andrews, the drummer, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist in the Massachusetts-based trio Quilt, neither embraces nor disputes the tag, but he emphasizes the band's focus is neither drugs nor registering as "psychedelic." For Andrews, the label only goes so far, anyway. He cites Gram Parsons, the lionized singer-songwriter whose work is often labeled psychedelic country music.
"Some people listen to Gram Parsons and hear this cosmic country singer," he says. "But when I listen to it, I just hear country music."
The term, he thinks, relates to sound, not a worldview or the exhortation to free your mind: "We grew up listening to all kinds of music, but if people want to call us that, we accept it. We like to give songs textures. And if adding that kind of stuff to your music classifies as psychedelic, then we're psychedelic."
Released in January, the band's second record, Held in Splendor, certainly depends on those textures, as Quilt's sound expands to include brass instrumentation and florid keyboards. The songwriting, though, is sharp; sprightly single "Tie Up the Tides," for instance, brims with concise pop smarts and laid-back allure.
"I think we're just a bunch of weirdos," Andrews offers with a laugh. "In the large scheme of things, all music is psychedelic." —David Klein