Neo-psychedelia has experienced a resurgence in recent years, with numerous artists such as Tame Impala, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, and Woods taking up the legacy of a genre that had for many years faded into relative obscurity. Referencing the late 60s and early 70s, the best of the genre takes those influences and creates something completely modern and new with them. While many modern psych bands can trace their roots back to The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, or The Byrds, what’s first noticeable about Boston’s Quilt is a different influence, the interplaying male and female vocal harmonies of Jefferson Airplane.
The band is co-fronted by Anna Rochinski and Shane Butler (with additional harmonies and occasional leads by drummer John Andrews, also of Woods), and it is this interplay that results in much of their distinctive sound. The band recently released their third album Plaza on Mexican Summer, and it serves as a major step forward for them in every way, from stronger songwriting to more confident production.
On Saturday night, the band came to play at DC9. Butler noted during the show that when they had first played the venue several years ago, they had played to “about five people” – not this time, though, as the space was packed nearly to capacity by fans who hung on every note the band played. The band opened with three songs from the new album – “Passersby,” “Hissing My Plea,” and “Searching For” – before playing anything older and more familiar, a move that might have alienated audiences at many shows.
But when Rochinski half-apologized that the setlist was made up of mostly new material, it was met with a cheer – the audience was happy to hear the new songs. They didn’t ignore the older material, of course, interspersing a small collection of songs primarily from their 2014 album Held In Splendor into the mix, including “Mary Mountain,” “Arctic Shark,” and “Talking Trains,” and “Cowboys in the Void” representing their 2011 self-titled debut.
Philadelphia psych-pop band Weekender opened the set, playing songs from their recent release, Floaty Feeling, Blue.