Based in Oregon, Quiet Life has a rock sound that is truly indebted to Americana music. A mixture of rock, country and folk music, the band can easily mix all three into one song, which is very entertaining and allows all of the songs to sound different in their own way. You can hear the happiness in their sound, and it’ll likely put a smile on the faces of even the grumpiest of listeners. Adding instruments like the keyboard and harmonica gives a very eclectic sound to it all.
The opener “Housebroken Man”, which features vocals from Cary Ann Hearst of Shovels & Rope, has beautiful harmony all throughout. This being the only song with a female voice included in the arrangement makes this a stand-out song on the album, and it’s a perfect opener to the LP.
With a mixture of country and rock, “Shaky Hand” is a sad story about feelings we all have hidden in our souls. It’s a beautifully written piece. This is one of those slower ballad-like songs that make a live audience put their arms around each other and sing along, or maybe that’s just what I feel like doing whenever this track comes on. With two predominately rock guitar solos elevating the song, this is one of the best in the track listing.
If you’re into honkytonk and ragtime dynamics, then “Messin’ Around” is for you. It’s fun to listen to and sing along with, but what I mostly want to do is line dance whenever it comes on. I have no idea how to line dance, but this song makes me want to learn how. By contrast, “Reckless Kind” is a loving and beautiful lullaby that will make you want to curl up next to a fire and cuddle with somebody. It feels like this story was being told by someone riding in a train coach alone. Then suddenly, a harmonica solo begins, adding to the ostensibly western feel to this track. The harmonica solos continue throughout the song, which add more excitement.
Jim James is featured on “Waiting Around to Die”, with an eerie keyboard that he plays throughout the song, as well as contributing a steady, rhythmic beat and some background commentary. It accomplishes the feeling of intruding on someone else’s thoughts like you are secretly reading someone else’s diary and being given insight into their most personal musings. You’ll want to listen to this song at least a couple times, just so you can learn the words to the commentary part of the track. It is a very important part of the song, so don’t just let it go by. This is an album that demands multiple listens from the listener to be able to pick up on all of its smallest thrown punches throughout. This is a highly recommended listen.