Not so long ago the utterance of the word ‘folk’ was enough to secure a record’s fate.
Once discarded as grown up music loved by people who drank traditional ales and possessed several handfuls worth of aging face fungus,
times have changed. Mountain
Its good exponents – the records that are worth investigation, such as this – are now given the opportunity to be discovered by a wider audience.
This isn’t your everyday folk album though,
but rather creeps with the Sixties American folk revival reverberating through every pore of its being.
While some artists feel the need to cover every audio frequency with sound,
Mountain Man have factored together an album that frowns on this tendency and instead hoover away any excesses,
leaving behind an album that is barren in design and relies purely on minimal
guitar and vocals and leaves enough space that silence almost serves as another instrument.
It brilliantly, calmly quakes with the distilled spirit of the Mississippi’s muddy blue wate
It’s a phenomenon echoed in the songs themselves,
as rather than feel repetitive or giving the band a definable ‘sound’ each track has its own unique personality.
Opener ‘Nadine’ is a laid-back, oceanic waltz, perfectly
illustrating the marriage
of their African influences to their Californian origins and Jewish upbringing,
with its part-English/partHebrew lyrics
The sing-song guitar of ‘Surprise Hotel’ introduces us to a sun-soaked summer groove, encouraging the shoulder-to-shoulder crowd to make what space they can to dance their cares away and start the party proper. And
just as it seems to come to an end an almighty drum roll sounds and things instead go doubletime in a multi-instrumentalist frenzy of drums,
guitar, bongos, saxophone and all manner of shakers and cowbells.
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