The Quiet Hours

I began collecting music into compilations in high school and, since then, it is a background process running in my brain at any given time. I enjoy weaving song threads together that feel naturally sequenced and lead the listener down a path. Often there is a general theme but sometimes I also just want to collect a bunch of hot tracks together so that I don’t forget about them.

A lot of music passes through my ears and the vast majority of songs never leave a trace but occasionally one will stand out and get caught in my mental nets where it starts forming crystals of ideas around itself, collecting other like-minded songs into clusters of thought & feeling. Sometimes these idea clusters knock loose and drop out and I refine them and make “finished products” and distribute to friends. I’ve found that, for me, these compilations are a form of emotional time capsule. A humorously “me” way of journaling, if you will.

Massive thanks to Dustin for the reminder on this particular one (as well as providing the tracklisting and files as I no longer had either). Half my lifetime later, returning to it with fresh ears for the first time, I was stunned by that time capsule effect. I’m still parsing through my present-day reactions to it but it has been a fascinating experience to revisit something which I had imagined to be completely lost to time. There are artists on here that I never listened to before or since and yet, nearly 20 years later, I still remembered every lyric and chord change as if I’d been listening on repeat for weeks.

There are a number of songs on here that aren’t available on streaming sites which only serves as a warning about digital-only art disappearing in the winds of time. Most of my favorite tracks on this fall in that category, which is a shame. The Shawn Smith one is just absolutely mind-blowing and it only ever existed on a CDR of a live show that I ordered off of his website at some point. The best art is the hardest to find I suppose. The quality of vocal performances across the board here are all extremely high – I must’ve been on a kick of some sort at the time. Two of these are covers that are maybe better than the original versions? I mean, I don’t really know how you could better “Once Around the Block” but KoC’s extremely minimal rework takes it to those levels for me.

The rush of memories and feelings left me wondering if I somehow sealed away some sort of psychological virus in the compilation’s creation and now that I’ve cracked the seals of time and have been breathing in that ancient air, my body is reacting to it with its current-day defenses. Some songs I understand in new ways and can appreciate from an alternate perspective. Some sting twice as hard and some now soothe instead. So fascinating! I hope that you, too, have similar psychological milestones that you can leverage in order to reorient yourself in the stream of time…

Download MP3 (better quality than the Soundcloud embed below)

View PDF of the cover & insert

The Quiet Hours Cover & Insert


  1. Death Cab for Cutie – Title Track
  2. PJ Harvey – One Line
  3. The Cardigans – 03.45: No Sleep
  4. Kings of Convenience – Once Around the Block
  5. The Long Winters – Unsalted Butter
  6. Blonde Redhead – For the Damaged
  7. Shawn Smith – Suffering (Live)
  8. Mono – Where Am I
  9. Iron and Wine – Such Great Heights
  10. Rogue Wave – Man-revolutionary!
  11. Josh Rouse – Knights of Loneliness
  12. Clearlake – Just off the Coast
  13. The Walkmen – Hang on Siobhan
  14. Cristina DonĂ  – Goccia
  15. The Red Thread – From the Divide
  16. Doves – Last Broadcast