Quiet Bears – We Are All Legend

Quiet Bears
We Are All Legend

Is there really such a thing as lo-fi folk-tronica? If there is, it comes in the form of the pastoral acoustic folk, peppered with ambient electronics, that graces We Are All Legend, the third full-length from Iowan Johnnie Gluney a.k.a. Quiet Bears.

It’s even questionable if this is a full-length. Although it contains seven tracks, there’s only eighteen minutes of hushed, effects-laden acoustic guitar strumming in uncomplicated, back-country-styled arrangements. The variation from track to track comes in the form of subdued, looped electronics that occasionally sound like simplified Frippertronics but are used too sparingly as intros, at the end of songs, or as short and spacey interludes.

The hushed tone and back-country aura coupled with the muffled, monotone vocals evoke a kind of spooky feel. In fact, given the amount of reverb and echo employed, and the songs’ sluggish paces and murky ambience, it’s easy to imagine them being recorded in a log cabin in the middle of the woods on a cold, wintry night.

Opener “Spacebody”, along with the title track and “Like Wolves” are the most engaging since they contain more animated electronics and active harmonics, but the remaining tracks offer fewer amiable melodies and don’t contain enough stimulating rock elements or shifting beats to keep your ears contented and none that make a lasting impression.

Unless you enjoy soothing, country-ish rhythms layered and treated with hazy electronic effects that conjure a feeling of woozy, quiet isolation, Quiet Bears is probably not for you.