Artist: Anchor & Braille
Album: The Quiet Life
Genre: Acoustic Rock/Ambient
Label: Tooth & Nail Records
While I generally have a tendency to always listen to metal bands, sometimes I find it’s necessary to relax to something just a little bit more mellow. That’s when I turn to bands like Anchor & Braille. The band is a side project of Anberlin’s Stephen Christian. The Quiet Life is the band’s sophomore effort, following their 2009 debut release titled Felt. Which, by the way, I recommend that you check out if you haven’t already.
The Quiet Life starts off with some very upbeat, digitally infused songs. The first track, “Goes Without Saying”, is upbeat, electronically driven almost pop-like but still offers that wonderful ambient sound we are used to. “Knew Then Know Now” is the second track and is by far my favorite of them all. His voice is soft, and when it’s coupled with the quiet queues from the piano, the electric drum beat and subtle strums of an electric guitar it makes for a pleasing musical experience. It’s the perfect relaxation track, makes you want to forget all of your worries!
“Find Me” takes a little bit of a different direction with its sound, slightly less of the electronic influence and more of the acoustic sound we’re familiar with. I think a lot of us can relate to wanting a quiet life now and again. The next song worth mentioning is “If Not Now, When”. This is the slowest track up to this point, and the chorus is a pleasant, harmonious blend of Stephen’s ambrosial voice and the very, very subtle instrumentals.
The remaining songs on the album generally stay pretty mellow. These feel a little more like the sound the band had on Felt. “Hymn For Her” is the last track that really deserves a mention. It’s a nice and melodic ballad which showcases Stephen’s airy voice alongside a gentle piano accompaniment.
The entire album was written and produced beautifully – it’s easily a solid sophomore effort for these guys. You get a little bit of everything, which is great but I think it would have been a good thing to stick a little bit to one style instead of taking on different musical sounds. I know he says the music was all inspired by what he was listening to at the time in terms of style, and that’s reflected in what he wrote. I would love to see a full length with all those electro-beats and upbeat melodies that we heard in the first few tracks. All in all I enjoy the entire record and will be happy to listen to it a few more times at least until they come out with some new songs.
Review written by Kriston McConnell