Filled with apocalyptic paranoia, Bible Belt ennui, survivor’s guilt and self-promises unfulfilled, Louisville, Kentucky’s Quiet Hollers teach us a thing or two about living on their self-titled sophomore album.
Released in October following a successful crowdfunding campaign, the cautionary tales on Quiet Hollers forever look backwards, its characters residing on the lower half of society’s stratum. Ranging from the anxious and addled (“Aviator Shades”) and fugitives on the run (“Côte d’Azur”) to those teetering on rock bottom (“Midwestern”) and the homeless (“Departure”), the songs on Quiet Hollers are given time to unfurl, providing ample opportunity for empathy.
Feel free to throw qualifying modifiers such as “roots,” “indie” and “southern” in front of “rock” when describing the sound of Quiet Hollers and you’d be right — but missing the point; by doing so, you negate the scope of singer Shadwick Wilde’s literary sensibilities. With allusions to Shakespeare and Poe, Wilde goes from John Cheever to Cormac McCarthy in a single breath (“Mont Blanc”), his ghosts and oracles yearning for past tokens of respect are all the wiser after their own undoings, narrated over lush arrangements and waltzing passages. As with the band’s 2013 debut, I Am the Morning, the bleak yarns on Quiet Hollers demand to be heard.