CD Review: Quiles and Cloud “Seminole Star”

Posted: January 20, 2015 in Music
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Folk duo of Maria Quiles and Rory Cloud are two singer/songwriters that create a folk music sound in the songs they create. Those songs are rather simplistic in nature as they draw upon only the guitars and vocals from Quiles and Cloud. That simplistic writing approach is more than apparent on the duo’s 2012 release entitled Long Time Coming.

Having already released Long Time Coming, Maria Quiles and Rory Cloud (now known simply as Quiles and Cloud) went about adding other musical components to their music to expand their sound. To bring their current musical vision to life, the duo called upon upright bassist Oscar Westesson, vocalist/pianist Julian Muller and Irene Sazer on violin. While the duo’s current sound is richer and fuller, it still has a simplistic approach and still makes use of their folk background. That expanded sound is found on the recently released 2014 Quiles and Cloud album called Seminole Star.

To help bring Seminole Star to life, the participating musicians gathered in the OTR Studios. That “live” feeling is definitely present as you listen to the release.

Seminole Star from Quiles and Cloud begins with the track “All My Trouble Gone”. No place on the album is it more apparent that this release is a “live in the studio” release than on this track as the beginning of the track starts with a beat being established only to be quickly replaced by a faster beat once Maria Quiles begins to sing the lyrics to the song. While that beginning seems a tad awkward, the track soon becomes one of the strongest tracks on the release as the guitars; bass and violin all combine to create a track that is unmistakably folk-like. One of the fun elements of the track is violinist Irene Sazer’s use of her violin to create bird sounds to go along with the lyrics of being able to fly. While the track has a relatively slow tempo that tempo increases about halfway in and the resulting faster pace of the song gives the track a nice amount of energy and it is that fast pace that brings the song to its end.

The quick pace established during “All My Trouble Gone” helps to lead into the next track of “Fool to Run”. Like the song before, “Fool to Run” has a strong pace to it. Like the song before it, “Fool to Run” has a strong pace to it. The track features both Maria Quiles and Rory Cloud on vocals. While Maria handles the majority of the lyrics, Rory joins her on the refrains and the two create a duet-like feel to the lyrics. While “All My Troubles Gone” contained music from Maria, Rory, bassist Oscar Westesson and violin Irene Sazer, it was in an ensemble setting. With “Fool to Run,” the musicians get a little opportunity to show off as both Westesson and Sazer help to create some very strong moments on the track.

If any one song on Seminole Star could be released as a single, it would easily be “Pass”. The song features music that feels as much like the Blues as it does like Folk. The lyrics to the song incorporate such as “baby, it’s cold outside” and “stop and stay a while”. The vocals delivered by Maria Quiles bring to mind artists such as Shawn Colvin and Paula Cole. The track feels very commercial and ready-made for the radio.
On Seminole Star’s title track, Quiles and Cloud revert back to a simple folk approach to their music. The music on the track is created mainly by the guitars from the two. In fact, while the song does contain bassist Oscar Westesson and violinist Irene Sazer, the two are part of the song to more or less just add a little texture to the track. As you listen to Maria Quiles sing the lyrics, the melody in the part of the main body of the song has a hauntingly-familiar sound to it (Neil Young’s “Ohio,” anyone?).

One of the prettiest moments on the Seminole Star release belongs to the song “Empty Handed”. The trio of Maria Quiles, Rory Cloud and bassist Oscar Westesson create a track with an easy feel to the music. One of the elements that give the track such a beautiful sound is Westesson’s bowing technique on the standup bass. That bowing technique adds both beauty and depth to the feeling of the song.

With Quiles and Cloud having released Seminole Star only mere days before the end of 2014, the album helped the year come to an end on a very strong note. But since many fans of the duo will actually discover the release in 2015, it can also be said that it will help start the year off with a bang.

Check out the song a live version of “Pass,” a track off of Seminole Star from Quiles and Cloud. Also check out the duo’s YouTube Channel for downloads of all of the tracks on the release.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s