Throughout the past few years Ringwood-based band Quality Living have been perfecting their 70s pop/rock influenced sound by adding elements of 90s indie, slacker and math rock, and jazz. It has been thrilling to see how the band experimented with fragments of all these genres—keeping what worked best and discarding others—to create one of the most unique discographies in all of New Jersey. And beyond. With new song “These Days,” which we are thrilled to premiere today, the band has reached a definitive pinnacle. They have never sounded better.
Some bands are like wine. Some like a Pabst Blue Ribbon. And, many are somewhere in between. Quality Living is a fine, single barrel bourbon. There is a superior craftsmanship to their work, especially noticeable on “These Days.” The song has wide appeal but the sophisticated ear will really appreciate the musicianship on the track—the nuanced and layered guitar playing, the bright keys, super tight rhythm section, and touches of saxophone that all combine perfectly. The melancholy yet totally sing-along chorus guarantees enjoyment blasting the song in your car. But, do yourself a favor and listen to the track with some really high quality headphones. You’ll thank me.
I asked band leader guitarist/singer Darrel Norrell what the song means to him. “The song feels a bit like expelling a demon or something like that.” I think we can all relate to that feeling, ahem, these days. He continued, “The speaker doesn’t wanna be the way they used to be and they’re begrudgingly changing, subduing former selves, and very awkwardly exploring what being vulnerable enough to coexist with others is like.
The video was directed by John Cozzarelli—the brilliant videographer, musician, coffee roaster, food vlogger, and YDKJ neighbor—and his sense of humor is rampant throughout this video. Costumes, humans turning into different beverages, people stuck in bottles and TVs… it’s all right at home in Cozz’s world.
Norrell let us in on a little behind-the-scenes on how the video came about. “We set out to make a video with Cozz right before the pandemic kicked in. Actually, meeting with him at Kinchley’s to plan is one of the last “normal things” I remember doing. It was gratifying that we followed through after all that time had passed. I thought we clicked pretty quickly.” The video will have you laughing within seconds. Unless you do not like fun and touches of absurdity. “We took pics of batshit Ringwood lawn signs, hung out by some dumpsters, and held Albert upside down by his ankles until he got dizzy. I have good memories of the whole thing.”
Quality Living are;
Darrel Norrell – singer/songwriter/guitar
Albert Chua – guitar
Danny Augugliaro – keyboard/piano
Harrison Bieth – saxophone/percussion
Nick Sardone – bass
Chris Mulinos – drums
You can check the band out live on the following dates:
June 10th at The Fire in Philadelphia
June 11th at Prototype 237 in Paterson
June 12th at The Bowery Electric in NYC
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