Quiet Car is a Brooklyn-based indie rock band formed by Carl Michnovicz (drums) and Harrison Park (guitars/lead vocals). Both have distinctive musical backgrounds. Michnovicz studied music at Stanford University and Park at the Crane School of Music. Their classical training stratified much of the structure behind their latest EP Hold By.
The sound is a blend of indie folk, baroque pop, experimental and alternative genres not unlike a band like Grizzly Bear or Local Natives. Quiet Car is currently performing in the greater NYC area as a four-piece band backed by Kevin Quinn (guitar) and James Myer (bass).
Hold By opens with “Slipstream,” where beatific sounds start off from the acoustic guitar, evoking imageries from nature. A resonating flow pursues the track. The sound of synths adds in an atmospheric scope. The vocals rush in creating a disconcerting ambience. Although melodic, the music sounds sort of off-key. The dissonance gives off an off-kilter world view.
On the title track, the sound of strings leans in polishing off a lush cadence. The sound of horns sounds off, tracing the gamut of this song. The horns go on, droning for a bit. Guitar riffs reverberate on this song. The strings add a listless cadence. The flute lightens up this track, giving it a blithe air. The strings add to the discord swayed by a dissonant pulse. The vocals soar with a soothing sound. Auto-tuned effects drift into this song offering up a Bon Iver and James Blake vibe.
Following is “Usufruct,” where a lovely tune comes from the acoustic guitar. The vocals arrive gushing with misty details. Park sings in a falsetto. Here, again lies the Bon Iver reference. The music is soft and lilting. A beatific melody on the acoustic guitar ensues. This is a stripped-down song with simply the acoustic guitar accompanying the vocals. The percussions add in an energized feel.
On the closer “The Light Maker,” the sound of piano keys jumpstarts this track. A melancholy piano tune ensues. The instrument alone supports the vocals. Next, come in a smattering of drums. This is a quiet and soothing song filled with pensive melodies.
These are sprawling soundscapes. “Lion’s Share” is one of the lengthier tracks nearly spilling into eight-minutes of instrumentation that really hash out the band’s creative process. One of the other more expansive tracks is “Hold By” that is engulfed with dissonance and auto-tuned effects. You can really see the band members’ jazz influences and classical training bringing to life these spiraling tracks. These are impressive soundtracks filled with quiet orchestration and pensive moods.
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