Folk has many different faces. Of course, the same could be said for every other genre with a name in music, but folk has a transparency that makes each face, every fine detail, a little easier to see and, if the artist is fortunate enough to sway the heart of the listener, appreciate. The face of Anthony Quails is one of a gentle and endearing storyteller, one who isn’t afraid to ponder the meaning of life’s small details, whether they be a blessing or a lamentable curse. The Man I Never Thought I’d Be, Quails’ latest EP, is a short but captivating slice of folk that opens the new year with a wonderfully warm sentiment.
There poses a risk with writing music that aims to be sentimental and moving. The emotion can often feel unearned, cliche, or, at the very worst, manipulative. Quails masterfully avoids these common pitfalls by carrying himself with confidence and restraint. His music is warm and inviting on the first listen, moving and profoundly meaningful on the next. These relatable tales of the simple joy of romance (“As Long As I’m With You”), the sorrow of an old age that comes all too unexpectedly (“The Man I Never Thought I’d Be”), and the importance of silence and ease (“It’s Okay To Have Nothing To Say” (which caps off with a superb, blues style guitar solo)) will speak to anyone.
As I’ve continued to explore the endless world of music what I’ve come to appreciate the most is music that has much to say and a patient, gentle way of saying it. The Man I Never Thought I’d Be is a beautiful record that I am already eager to revisit. If you would like to hear it Quails’ Bandcamp page can be found here.