Quote, a folk-pop duo out of Nashville, is the work of singer-songwriters Jamie Bennett and Justin Tam, who trade off on bluesy guitar riffs and pleasant vocal harmonies. The Pace Of Our Feet, their new album of story-songs and bar-rock lite ("Until the Sunrise," "Evaline") finds the two backed by a half-dozen or so accomplished musicians, including members of the traditional Irish band Milis, Mike Odmark on various percussion, organ, bass, etc., and Daniel Ellsworth (yes, that Daniel Ellsworth) on piano.
Quote is set apart by their gentle poetic lyrics—for example, the opening lines to "Kerosene": "We walked home on an avocado road in dirty groves, / Disney Lane was all we'd known / We ran through knee-deep leaves, / the moon was smoke, moving through the grapefruit trees"—which can recall Department of Eagles or Simon and Garfunkel (such as "For Emily, Wherever I May Find Her").
What makes The Pace Of Our Feet a truly great album is that Bennett and Tam turned it into a kind of exploration of the intersection of multiple artistic media. The record is in fact part of a 130-page book, with each song paired with an original short story or poem, as well as an original piece of artwork (favorites include Amanda Ball and Julia Lee's Rauschenberg-like mixed-media/found-objects pieces, accompanying "Until the Sunrise" and "Tired Eyes," respectively). "Kerosene," for example, is put together with an abstract watercolor painting by LA Bachman and a poem by Q Bennett: "To Disney Lane. / My foot squelches avocado leaves, as blood oranges boil in the afternoon sun."
"It's an attempt," as Quote says in the book's introduction, "to capture both the eyes and the ears ... an idea one would be pretentious to proclaim as unique yet equally unwise to ignore." Bravo then to Quote for making one of the more interesting albums of the year. You can find out more about Quote and The Pace Of Our Feet on MySpace.