Don’t let the upbeat, breezy, pop-laden tunes Quality Living can turn out in their sleep fool you. This band is so tight and proficient that their carefully constructed music can sometimes sound like slacker or yacht rock. That is because they make it look so easy. However, there is a craftsmanship here that is undeniable. Their recent release Something Softly Caught Me is filled with great tracks like “When I Most Needed It,” “Quiet (Rest),” and “Marathon,” the video we are thrilled to premiere today.
On first watch I wasn’t exactly sure what I was witnessing, which is always an exciting challenge. It’s a surreal trip down a mystical rabbit hole where dangers lurk behind every door. A good dose of demonic possessions occur, filmed with a glorious 70s grindhouse sheen perfect for the material. Rob Zombie only wishes he directed something as good.
I asked guitarist/singer/songwriter Darrel Norrell about the inspiration behind the video. “High school film projects. Bad horror films. David Lynch. Boardwalk fortune tellers. The awkward ridiculousness of the occult and also the dread too… Can’t forget the dread.” Dread is always lurking a bit under the surface of many of Quality Living’s upbeat songs and that edge is keenly felt. Lynch is appropriate as Blue Velvet keeps coming up in my thoughts here.
The video is filled with friends of the band and it looks like they are all having a great time. Was it as fun as it appears? It was. “We roped in whoever we could with short notice, raided thrift stores for costumes and props, and worked out a time to film at the bar,” Norrell explains. “Albert (guitarist Albert Chua) and I work at The Shepherd & Knucklehead in Haledon. Both prepping and filming were a challenge and a blast. Never made any kind of video content in my life and I can’t wait for quarantine to end so I can round up a team and do it again.”
Perhaps someday they may cast me in a video to highlight my exceptional acting ability…hint hint.
The band cannot take full credit for the video. “I want to shout out Mike McKenna, who shot, edited, and put up with my lack of expertise,” Norrell says.
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