Chiyoko Yoshida and Jeff Carleton are 'Quietly Mine'. They write beautiful music. Their songs blurr from 4AD ethereal (ala Cocteau Twins) to singer song writer ballads and of course the occasional rocker. No matter the style or the instrumentation each song is centered around their beautiful vocals. Smooth, occasionally edgy, emotional and always pretty. Yoshida's vocals have been described somewhere in between Chrissie Hynde and Elizabeth Fraser.
Jeff Carleton and Chiyoko Yoshida met at 'the house' on Fullerton avenue in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood. The house was rented by a handful of artists and musicians who entertained a 24 hour revolving door of people, parties and bands performing in the living room or back yard. Right around the corner from Lounge Ax and the beloved Wax Trax scene. Yoshida was 18 and off for the summer from her first year of college and what would be her last year at the Art Institute of Chicago. Jeff was playing keyboards in a local band called the Modern Frogs and studying music theory at Columbia College. They met on the porch one day and Chiyoko knew right away that Jeff was going to be a part of her life for a long time. They dated for a few years and then called it quits. Six months after the break up they came back together changing the long-standing bond from boy/girl romance to a boy/girl harmonies and lush pop songs. They've been writing music together ever since and share a lifetime of uninterrupted collaboration. Slowly brewing songs quietly writing in the background.
Yoshida (guitar) and Carleton (guitar) fronted the band Squash Blossom along with Tim Hurley (Red Red Meat, Sin Ropas) on bass in the 90's. A vital part of the Chicago music scene the three of them would enjoy the company of about 8 different drummers through the years. Almost signed a handful of times to major and indie labels somehow never panned out. They recorded their first self-released single at Idful music with Brad Wood, at same time Liz Phair was wrapping up her infamous record Exile in Guyville. They would become friends with producer/engineer/drummer Brian Deck (Red Red Meat, Modest Mouse, Iron & Wine, many more...), who later mixed the final tracks for their single 'She'. It was well received and the song 'She' had some traction on local radio and was even getting a bit of air play on larger stations in town (WXRT, Q101). Their music appeared on a number of compilations and eventually they recorded a full length record in 95' (unreleased). They were one of many swept up in the phenomenon of 'Chicago's Cutting Edge' major label signing frenzy. They were a buzz band along with many of their peers. They caught a big break opening for Veruca Salt's first headlining tour, which hinted that they might find a record deal in the process. There was a lot of spin and attention but unlike a lot of their friends they didn't land on a major or indie label. Eventually Tim Hurley would leave Squash Blossom to fully commit his time to Red Red Meat. After many highs and lows in 97' Yoshida and Carleton once again called it quits.
Yoshida had sworn off music by that point heartbroken but couldn't give it all up. Carleton was still writing and the two still lived together after many years. Yoshida would join Carleton in their band Sweeder. She played drums in this line up and intended on not singing in the band. Eventually she caved in and ended up singing from behind the kit. This time the precious 3rd member was Julie Liu (Mint Aundry, Rex, more...) on bass/viola/violin. In they're new line up they played around the Chicago circuit and landed in the studio again to record with Brian Deck at Clava Studios. 'Swallowed by the Sun' was released on Monitor records in 2000. They toured a few times. Liu would eventually leave the band to focus on having her first child, leaving Yoshida and Carleton on their own. Yoshida put together a solo project around this time back on guitar and self-released her debut 'Cinematic' in 2001 on her own label Boo-The-Cat records. Again recorded with Brian Deck at a handful of studios.
Carleton, Yoshida and Liu kept busy moonlighting outside of Sweeder, contributing tracks to a number of other bands. Carleton guested with Palaxy Trax and Sin Ropas. Liu toured and recorded with Rex, Tortoise, Songs Ohia, June of 44. Yoshida contributed vocals on Modest Mouse - Moon & Antartica, Chris Connelly's - Blond Exodus, June of 44's - Anahata and Chamber Strings - Gospel Morning, Red Red Meat's - Bunny Gets Paid (special addition).
This brings us to Quietly Mine. Yoshida and Carleton continue write and work on music. They work religiously one ore more times a week for over a decade since they're last record. On rare occasion they play a show, but their focus these days is mostly on collaborating and enjoying the work. In early 2013 they ventured into the studio for the first time in over a decade. With Brian Deck producing and performing on drums they have 3 new songs ready for you to enjoy. They toy with the idea of performing or pulling together a band again but we'll see. For now find them here. If you enjoy they're music please share.