More (Non-Metal) Guitar In The Monitor – March 2016

A continuation of our monthly series of posts where we look at some of the non-metal albums that are in heavy rotation.

Hanging HillsHanging Hills – Sewn
One of my favorite albums to come out of my backyard of Connecticut was The Great Divide from Hanging Hills. Two years and a move to Philly later Hanging Hills return with a new album, Sewn. It’s a fitting moniker as these guys once again weave together emotive indie folk with pop and 70s folk rock sensibilities. Hanging Hills always seems to have a light air to their sound, even in their loudest or saddest moments, as if they’re collectively riding that convertible down to the shoreline on an unseasonably warm Spring day. Well worth a listen for fans of everything from Fleet Foxes and Bon Iver to James Taylor and Jim Sullivan.


JiimJiim – Two Eyes
The Jiim in this case is James Duffy, one of the members of Hartford-based indie rock/folk outfit Old Royals. This time out Duffy trades in the full-band, rock outbursts for a more lo-fi, synth-rock approach to his debut solo album, Two Eyes. Every track on this record ranges from accessible to infectious as Duffy moves seamlessly from the pop to the folk end of the musical spectrum and then back again. Simply put, it’s a wholly relaxing and enjoyable listening experience.


PhonosynthesisPhonosynthesis – Grüvhaus
One part funk machine, one part intrepid jazz combo, one part prog rock junkies, Connecticut’s Phonosynthesis walk a tightrope between genres like circus pros performing musical acrobatics while dazzling their awe-inspired audience members from 50 feet up. From relaxed to rambunctious to raucous, Grüvhaus is a swinging and deftly played album.


QuiltQuilt – Plaza
Boston’s Quilt play a brand of alt rock that’s as angular as it is beautiful, as complex as it is comforting. With a unique ability to craft songs that apparently transcend the space-time continuum itself, Quilt are a pretty lovable act straight out of the gates. Their new album, Plaza, is an absolute triumph, a perfect marriage between jangling indie pop and a bevy of influences ranging over both multiple genres and decades. From dancing bass lines to Anna Rochinski’s alluring vocals to a plethora of sonic atmospherics, Quilt have put together an album that is simply addictive on so many levels. When the inevitable year-end lists start to come together this album will be and should be called upon over and over again.

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