I dove into the cool, sparkling waters of Lisa Anderson’s Quincy Street in my backyard on the first warm and sunny day of Spring at the end of week eight of the coronavirus lockdown... I did this with a gin and tonic in hand of course and I originally allowed for the possibility that the sum of these elements may have influenced my ear. After a dozen more listens, several sober, I can confidently say that Quincy Street is a classic summer-defining album and may just be what gets us all through this quarantine. It will however break your heart because this is an album to be listened to in a truck full of friends at a beach or lake: tailgate down, cooler full of beers, sitting way too close, and knowing that that still far off sunset will be just the beginning of your night.
Quincy Street isn’t just genre defying its decade defying. Those of us who lived through the last several won’t just appreciate the musical mashup, but enjoy flashbacks to our favorite summer memories and those seminal albums that have stayed with us, as this one surely will. On the whole, Quincy Street is defined by a brightness and levity that at times defies the depth of the lyrics and meaning of the songs. The balance of the production is impressive with strings that are full of life but not of themselves and a backseat driver of a backline that knows it’s place and shuts up every now and then. The fresh linen and well-worn denim of this fabric is occasionally splashed with whiskey, beer, and hot sauce in the form of some truly inspired lead guitar work that is surprising but never unsettling. All of this brings out the full essence of Lisa Anderson’s poetry and songwriting and her voice, at times breathy, other times ballistic, makes it all make sense. Like a good friend singing along to the radio—not to or for anyone in particular—just loving summer and living the dream.