The Quiet Room: ‘All the Frozen Horses’ – soothing, melodic, gigantic…

‘The Quiet Room’ is an experimental collaboration between ‘Happy Ghosts’ founding member Andrew Muecke and EVOLETAH singer/songwriter Matt Cahill.  ‘All the Frozen Horses’ is the resulting debut album of both Matt and Andrew’s collective musical histories colliding. The Quiet Room is a “new” band, in the sense that this is their debut album, but these guys have been around for quite a long time.

Albums come and go like friends who move in next door and are gone within a year’s time, leaving you a multiple-digit number that hibernates in your cell phone. The way fads age like raw meat in a greenhouse: A good sign that you’ve found the genuine article is when each successive song sounds better than the last, and once the disc is done, you do it all over again.

 The Quiet Room is appealing in the same way as Coldplay were on their debut album, “Parachutes”; soothing, melodic, gigantic. Once in a while all this music world needs is a band to simply cut it up. Matt and Andrew just let it out. The sparse instrumentation, the melodies, the dark moods, and the vocals will blow your mind.

The album cover
The album cover

A distinctly modern mélange of analog synth music, I’d best describe The Quiet Room as Avant-garde Electro-indie. If you’re a child of the 80s who grew up with OMD, Japan and Depeche Mode you’ll immediately grasp the basics of ‘All the Frozen Horses’. With this 11-track album, The Quiet Room is the outstanding contender as the smartest electro-indie band of the year with an album that’s so emotional, so beautiful, and so well-produced that it will put many others to shame.

‘All the Frozen Horses’ will save synth and electro-based music from itself, bringing a much needed sense of vision to a brand of music which, as of late, has aspired to no greater purpose than that of moving bodies and disengaging minds. The album is the optimistic answer to all the question marks left in the wake of the last thirty years, with a smattering of everything from the revolutionary 80’s new wave movement to the more recent experimental ambience of Brian Eno. At a time during electro music’s history when some may already be tempted to assume we’ve seen it all , now come the likes of The Quiet Room, which, by the way, should not be considered an “electronic” duo. To the contrary, Andrew Muecke and Matt Cahill have simply used the medium as a tool in their grander endeavor: to make good music!

Those familiar with the other projects the core members are a part of might not know what to expect from this album, either. It starts off with a slow-building almost narrative track, titled “Come Undone” featuring beautifully placed vocals, layered with falsettos that might elicit tears from the more delicate listener. A nod to the exquisitely intimate George Michael-styled vocals from his “Older” album or just about anything by Dave Gahan of Depeche Mode is not out of place here.

In fact, for me, the entire ‘All the Frozen Horses’ album has the same tender, melancholy and dark overall style that came forth from “Older”, to my mind the most emotionally intense George Michael album ever. In all, those willing to lift their chins and revel in some honest and emotional songwriting will find an album worthy of sitting on their top shelf. You get the complete package: mood, musicality and melody.

Andrew Muecke and Matt Cahill
Andrew Muecke and Matt Cahill

The best tracks? ‘Come Undone’, ‘The Arena’, ‘Q &A’, ‘Mayan Dream’ and ‘& I Looked Everywhere’. ‘All the Frozen Horses’ is nothing short of a musical tour de force. Really, it’s that good. So good, it’s almost criminal. Take the lyrical honesty of The Cure and marry it with Martin Gore’s keyboard sensibilities. The result is an absolutely smashing album that harkens back to the days of dark, new wave mixed with 90’s experimental flair and a minimalistic modern bent.

Overall, the combined efforts of Andrew Muecke and Matt Cahill display an artistic quality that is not found often. ‘All the Frozen Horses’ both satisfies a musical hunger and leaves you wanting more. Proving that innovation is not dead in the music business, The Quiet Room is a fantastic breath of fresh air; dreamy, a little depressed, yet uplifting and sweet.


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Rick Jamm

Journalist, publicist and indie music producer with a fervent passion for electric guitars and mixing desks !

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