Boomkat Product Review:
Inspired by krautrock, folk and post-punk, Bristol four-piece Quade have already made waves with their offbeat, dubwise soundscapes. Their debut full-length is a moonlit odyssey punctuated by tight, angular drums, fiddle swipes, nonchalant vocals and booming basslines - RIYL Moin, Squid, Darkside, Divide and Dissolve.
Made up of four childhood friends - Barney Matthews on bass and vox, Leo Fini on drums, Matt Griffiths on synths, tapes and electronics, and Tom Connolly on violin, synth and guitar - Quade was formed as a way to pass the time during the first lockdown. Their musical influences were fairly diverse: Griffiths and Matthews were DJs and promoters, Connolly was performing Irish traditional music and Fini was fashioning experimental soundscapes in his bedroom using field recordings. So when they came together, they had to agree on a sound they could all get behind; all four of the friends loved Can and Neu!, so that motorik backbone helped drive last year's 'Spiral'. But 'Nacre', their debut album proper, is a more open-minded experiment, built on the foundations of post-punk and krautrock but scraping in stylistic blueprints from further afield.
Fiddle-led single 'Of the Source' sounds like the vaporous essence of Montreal's Constellation crew piped through the Bristol sewers. Connolly's provocative violin starts us off, joined by Matthews' bass and, in time, Fini's rousing drums. And when Griffiths enters with synth, it's a squealing, feedback-laden patch that slots neatly into the mix. There's a trace of Bark Psychosis-style post-rock when the track cools into near silence, leaving just a heartbeat and faintly melodic guitars, and Fini takes a slip road into light-footed jazz. The band's other single 'Stretching Out' is a different prospect altogether, a vocal led track that's carried by a thumping rhythm and elongated, scratchy violins, for our money, they're more confident when they work at the edges, like on the jerky 'Circles' and the atmospheric, dubby 'Measure'.
Our favorite moment is 'Technicolor', an abstract slop of field recordings and reversed whines that slowly stumbles into faded, slowcore romance. Working at half speed suits the four-piece, who accurately cite Bristolian unsung heroes Movietone as a core influence.