The Quiet Life

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The Quiet Life
AnchorBrailleTheQuietLife.jpg
Studio album by Anchor & Braille
Released July 31, 2012
Genre Acoustic rock, baroque pop
Length 41:53
Label Tooth & Nail
Producer Kevin Dailey and Micah Tawlks[1]
Anchor & Braille chronology
Felt
(2009)Felt2009
The Quiet Life
(2012)
Songs for the Late Night Drive Home
(2016)Songs for the Late Night Drive Home2016

The Quiet Life is the second studio album by Anchor & Braille, the side project of Anberlin lead vocalist Stephen Christian. The album was released on July 31, 2012 on Tooth & Nail Records with a vinyl version expected for release on September 7, 2012.[2]

Release and promotion[edit]

"The Quiet Life" is Christian's sophomore release under the Anchor & Braille moniker. Released on Anberlin's old record label Tooth & Nail Records, Christian explained the meaning of the title on the label's website: "In the musician lifestyle we always seem to be searching for something and we never seem to find it...I've come to the conclusion that the only stability for a musician is instability. So there is this eternal search for 'the quiet life.' But I've never found it. It’s a dream, this imaginary quiet life.”[3] The song "Find Me" explored the theme heavily.

Christian penned The Quiet Life whenever and wherever he could during the three years since the release of Felt. He recorded the album over the course of January, February and March in Peptalk Studio in his current hometown of Nashville. The studio, actually a converted basement recording space, usually houses the band Civil Twilight, whose keyboardist Kevin Dailey co-produced and engineered the album along with Anchor & Braille guitarist Micah Tawlks. A music video for "Find Me" debuted on the day of the album's release.[4]

Musical style[edit]

The disc, which Christian describes as a "patchwork record" due to this sporadic process, expands on the demos the musician had been penning for years. This sonic expansion is, in part, why Christian selected Dailey and Tawlks as his producers.

“I felt like they were the only ones who caught what I was trying to do,” Christian explains. “I didn’t want anyone to take my demos and glorify them. I wanted to write the songs and then interpret them in the studio. I want it to be creative and have the music be expounded upon, not just made bigger. My demos were the outlines and I needed people in the studio would help color them in.”

Like Felt, The Quiet Life is still centered around acoustic instrumentation but is layered with more digital tones and effects, which he credits the music he was listening to at the time as the influence for this change.

“I wasn’t attempting to mimic anything, but instead of writing songs in the same vein as the last record I felt like the whole joy of being in your own project is to pursue your passion,” Christian says, citing groups like Empire of the Sun and M83. “And I love indie electronic music so I wanted to bring that in. We didn’t use the keyboard effects or anything, but it was about bringing the tones of what I was listening to into my own music.”

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AbsolutePunk (80%)[5]
Alternative Press 3.5/5 stars[6]
Jesus Freak Hideout 4/5 stars[7]
Indie Vision Music 4/5 stars[8]

The Quiet Life was well received by critics, with most of the praise directed at Christian's songwriting. Of "Goes Without Saying", Artist Direct called it "One of the most brilliant and beautiful entries into Christian's catalog, and it's the perfect prelude to the sonic majesty contained in The Quiet Life."[9] Absolutepunk called The Quiet Life "a chaotic beauty of an album as well as his(Christian's) most personal and eloquent effort to date."[10]

Brittany Moseley of Alternative Press said "The Quiet Life is an unassuming album that doesn’t stray far from the formula introduced on Felt. Fortunately for Anchor & Braille, it’s a formula that continues to work".[11] Angela Mastrogiacomo of Infectious Magazine praised the album as "a true labor of love and that kind of fervor is ever more difficult to come by these days", calling the album "Beautiful. Uplifting. Inspiring. There’s nothing like it...this album is truly one for the record books." She then went on to praise the diversity of the record: "Throughout The Quiet Life we are continually transported between the calming sensations of acoustic finesse and 80s influenced splendor similar to the likes of New Order and current day electronic bands like M83, to create one beautifully tied together album, which is, very simply, overflowing with zest."[12]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Goes Without Saying" — 4:20
  2. "Knew Then Know Now" — 4:11
  3. "Find Me" — 4:04
  4. "In With The New" — 3:19
  5. "If Not Now When" — 3:28
  6. "Kodachrome" — 3:13
  7. "Collapse" — 4:46
  8. "Hymn For Her" — 5:05
  9. "Everybody Here Wants You" — 5:15
  10. "Before I Start Dreaming" — 4:12

Personnel[edit]

  • Stephen Christian - Lead and backing vocals
  • Micah Tawlks - acoustic, bass, electric guitars, drums, programming, percussion, Fender Rhodes, various synthesizers and backing vocals
  • Kevin Dailey - acoustic, bass, lap steel, electric guitars, programming, percussion, Fender Rhodes, piano, various synthesizers and backing vocals
  • Jonathan Bucklew - Drums

References[edit]

  1. ^ Casey (June 28, 2012). "Tooth & Nail | News | Welcome Anchor & Braille To The Tooth & Nail Family!". Toothandnail.com. Retrieved July 12, 2012. 
  2. ^ http://www.shopbenchmark.com/anchorandbraille/new-products/anchor-and-braille-the-quiet-life-vinyl.html
  3. ^ Tooth & Nail. "Tooth & Nail - Artist - Anchor & Braille". Tooth & Nail Records. Retrieved October 15, 2014. 
  4. ^ Video on YouTube
  5. ^ "Anchor & Braille - The Quiet Life". AbsolutePunk.net. Retrieved October 15, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Anchor & Braille - The Quiet Life". Alternative Press. Retrieved October 15, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Jesusfreakhideout.com: Anchor & Braille, "The Quiet Life" Review". Retrieved October 15, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Anchor & Braille – The Quiet Life". Indie Vision Music. Retrieved October 15, 2014. 
  9. ^ http://www.artistdirect.com/entertainment-news/article/anchor-braille-debut-goes-without-saying-on-artistdirect-com/10171290
  10. ^ "Message - AbsolutePunk.net". Retrieved October 15, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Anchor & Braille - The Quiet Life". Alternative Press. Retrieved October 15, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Album Review: Anchor & Braille "The Quiet Life" - Infectious Magazine". Retrieved October 15, 2014.