By Adam McGrath
Friday was a busy day in Philly for psychedelic pop band Quilt, as they enjoyed the patronage of WXPN listeners during Free at Noon in University City before headlining an evening show at Fishtown’s The Foundry.
Quilt’s 75-minute set Friday night featured many of the tracks from 2016’s Plaza, their excellent third album that represents the most cohesive yet adventurous effort from the band that boasts three songwriters in Anna Fox Rochinski, Shane Butler and John Andrews, all of whom sing as well. This setup allows for a welcome amount of variety in their sound, from dreamy, summer-of-love type songs like “Passersby” to the straight pop of “Roller,” the latter receiving significant airtime on 88.5 FM. There’s even a little bit of art-punk in songs like “Searching For.”
While the crowd skewed more to the mustachioed and tie-dyed sect, this ability to evoke comparisons that range from Jefferson Airplane to Parquet Courts definitely kept things interesting. Tight three-minute ditties were juxtaposed with extended jams that culminated in satisfying crescendos. For my money, I most enjoyed the songs that featured harmonies between Rochinski and drummer Andrews, which blended more sweetly than when Butler took on lead vocal duties. Bassist Kevin Lareau and a touring keyboardist rounded out the multidirectional ensemble.
Opening for Quilt were Philadelphia-by-way-of-France artists The Dove & The Wolf, whose music was appropriately serious for being written in the wake of last year’s Paris attacks. Core duo Paloma Gil and Louise Hayat-Camard sang beautifully together, their vocals buoyed by an extra guitar and rhythm section.
Mary Lattimore also took the stage, showcasing her unique blend of classical harp music with looping technology. She was clearly enraptured throughout the performance, plucking complex melodies into existence and sending them into the universe on the backs of cosmic sound effects.
If you’re in the Boston area, catch Quilt at the Fuzzstival the weekend of August 19, or check out their September dates in the Southeast and Midwest U.S.