By: Amanda McMillan
Written, recorded, and produced right here in Toronto’s east-end, quietype’s self-titled EP is a delicious mix of R&B, alternative, and just a sprinkle of electronic. It’s a combination that fans of Bob Moses, Bon Iver, or dvsn can appreciate and really dig into. Sonically, the trio (Mitchell Stuart, Jordan Ward, and Jon Plytas) sound comfortable and well-integrated with each other, which is likely the result of knowing each other since high-school. The songs are intimate and sultry from lyrics to instrumentals, with every melody feeling ooey-gooey, thanks to Plytas’ vocals.
The album tells an all-too-familiar tale of a crumbling relationship, the way things fall apart in the in-between as much as it does out in the open. “Island,” is all about the feeling of isolation and guilt, while “Caroline,” is about thinking back on falling in love and the pain that comes from falling out of it. Sonically, “Hold Me Down” is like wading through honey, with heavy R&B bass and drums that are complemented by that delicate ‘wub-wub’ in the background.
“King Street” parts one and two feel like just as much a love story to the city itself as it is to any person. By the time we get to “Always You,” it feels like we’ve been on quite an emotional journey in such a short time. There’s a slickness and professionalism in the production that is refreshing for a young band out of the city. Typically Toronto is known for its grit, especially when it comes to the music scene. But with a growing roster of R&B excellence coming out of the city and its surrounding areas, it’s nice to hear more of that here.
Clear alt-rock and electronic influences bring the R&B vibe into fresh territory, putting the EP in good company with the rest of the emerging scene. Expertly mixed, with just the right flourishes by drummer & guitarist Mitch Stuart, Quietype is hopefully the start of something more from these guys. In the meantime, put this on rotation and just lean into that groove.