Within the first couple of minutes of the self-titled album This Quiet Dust by This Quiet Dust I knew I was in for treat. The production is excellent, the vocals and sounds are original and unique and it’s also instantly accessible. Catherine Watine (known as Watine) and Paul Levis are This Quiet Dust. According to their bio “Paul is in charge of music composing and playing, along with making the arrangements while Catherine arranges the backing vocals in her deep child voice.” The compositions Levis makes are inspired pieces with a vast array of instrumentation that makes listening to Watine’s already inviting voice that much more enjoyable to listen to.
What might not be apparent immediately is that the album is inspired by “Emily Dickinson’s brilliant sensory unbridled poetry, her ‘human scale’ mysticism, her highly musical art of brevity and juxtaposition, which turns out to be melancholy and ardent.”
The album begins with “A Certain Slant of Light,” which combines a warm acoustic guitar with various background harmonies and Watine’s lead vocal. Sounds start to enter in and out of the composition effortlessly. The light scattered vocal harmonies, organ and backward effects that combine dictate that Levis is a modern day alchemist concocting a mixture of tones that compliment each other. It doesn't get much better than “Delinquent Palaces,” which melds organic orchestral strings into arguably the most infectious vocal melody on the album.
The title track “This Quiet Dust” is a juxtaposed composition with intricate and meticulously placed percussive elements. As the song progresses and everything from horns, to organs and more strings are added the sounds over stimulate the senses and proves to be one of the most inspired moments on the album. “Half Past Seven” is another excellent example of the sort of space Levis can create within his compositions. Every part seems meticulously calculated and the attention to detail is simply outstanding.
The most impressive thing to me on this album is the details. It is so far beyond a guy with a guitar singing into a mic. The compositional talent you need to implement these ideas is rare and I hope that this can be recognized. It blows my mind that This Quiet Dust isn’t a household name. The songs on the album are exceptional and I hope you take the time to listen to it, share it on Facebook, Twitter, etc. and listen some more.
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