When reviewing music, you encounter the musical outtakes of various artists — one cohort of such musicians are those who you hear and review and never feature on any of your playlists again. The other group consists of musicians whose music you carry along with you across societies, and their music travels the world through your eyes. The music of Rob Quo falls in the latter category.
Quo’s music can easily be characterised into caricatures like alt-country, acoustic folk, or even psychedelic pop, which borrows inspiration from big names like Donovan or Vashti Bunyan. However, that would perhaps not fully picturize the emotions in listening to a Rob Quo record. Quo’s musical work brings wisdom, melancholia, repentance, and childlike bliss — all of which reaffirms his music’s characteristic ability to evoke. Wasting no time since the release of his earlier EP Rule of Three earlier in the year, Rob Quo brings to us his newest EP — Let It Spin. The EP has a congenial runtime of twenty minutes, and is divided into five tracks — Ain’t Even Liv’d, Talkin’ ‘Bout The Truth, Say No More, This House and Single-Minded.
Ain’t Even Liv’d immediately draw the listener in with Quo’s personable and charming voice which harmonies in the track in accompaniment with Beatlesque percussion and groovy blues-rock electric guitar riffs. The vocals across the EP is on the same ilk with genre mavericks like Run It’s The Kid or Ray LaMontagne. Talkin’ ‘Bout The Truth is a light-hearted breezy track made even better with Quo’s enjoyable stream-of-consciousness lyricism that is both humorous as well as reflective on the human condition. The track highlights the absurdity of life as lived in a post-truth world, where Quo wonders about the values and virtues we leave behind for generations to come who will imbibe the results of our cultural wars.
Say No More with its vintage psychedelia voice effects and funky bartime arrangement is almost a Rodrigo Amarante or a Little Joys track. Characteristically identical to the classic rock/jazz fusion numbers played on the radios of pubs in the 1940s, where Rob Quo’s handsome lyrical genius flirts with the shy electric guitar melodies scattered across the track. This House is a song sung in bittersweet retrospect, highlighting the ambivalent Saudade in leaving behind a long-time residence, with the remnants of our memories and various events that happened remaining inside its walls. In a beautiful and heart-wrenching outro featuring a pipe-organ-like sound, acoustic guitar and melodic harmonies,
This House is a track for listeners to make entirely their own and decorate it with personalized events. Closing the EP is the curtain track Single-Minded — a jazzy lounge-rock track with an attractively slapdash arrangement that sounds straight out of a Felipe Barbosa movie.