Eerie sounds drift from the speakers as the title track of Mt. Mountain’s new album, premiered here, doesn’t so much begin as waft into your consciousness. It’s not so much a sound as a presence, a sort of apparition that is barely there at first but, as the music begins you get a sense of the desert… in a not dissimilar way from the way that The Myrrors conjure the idea of the desert; although here Mt. Mountain achieve this in a much more low key manner. This spectral yet strangely earthy sound disappears into nothing leaving a beautiful moment of silence before the band explode into life with a wall of guitars before settling back into something that retains that initial eeriness, yet now feels more solid. This is an amazing track that, while mostly calm, is never still with the vocal only coming in after twelve minutes or so. At over seventeen minutes the track never strays from what seems to me to be a kind of veiled reality which plays on the mind, the ‘Dust’ of the title perhaps.
I asked Glenn of Mt. Mountain how the track and, more broadly, the album came about:
“The original concept for “Dust” came about during the recording of our last LP “Cosmos Terros” – When writing songs to finish the second half of that album we wrote the title track “Dust” but it was clearly not a great fit with the other tracks that we had already written for the record. The writing of this song was the basis of the idea to record an album with a much looser approach, keeping everything long form and as close as possible to the first improvised jams and without any thought of performing the songs live after recording them. The songs were consciously rehearsed as little possible before recording the album over two days as an effort to keep everything as live and as natural as possible.”
This makes complete sense when you listen to the album in it’s entirety as there is a really immediate feel to it. I like how this is combined with a certain effortlessness which can only happen when the musicians are all on the same wavelength and jamming together in a way that is tight and focussed in terms of being really ‘on it’, yet playing with a freedom that is captured so well on this record.
This can be seen on ‘Floating Eyes’, which has a lovely gentleness to it in the way that it washes over you, but not in a passive way. Perhaps writing this on a Sunday evening after a really full-on weekend is the right time to receive this music, certainly at this moment it just feels like the perfect thing as the beautifully constructed, yet totally improvised repeating melody somehow soothes and fortifies me…just lovely.
This feeling continues with ‘Kokoti’, a track that further establishes the album as one which takes you along with it. If anything the melody on this number is even more beautiful, bringing up for me a sort of melancholic longing that is at the same time powerful and fills me with a means to pour balm on such feelings. Like the rest of the album, it has a strange otherworldliness to it that you just want to get inside and explore. Around two thirds of the way through the track it takes a slight turn and become more simple, before the band really take the it home with a marvellous lilting and atmospheric bridge that captures the album perfectly in the way they inject the unexpected into what is already something quite exquisite. This leads naturally into the final track, ‘Outro’, which, as you would expect, does not take us far from the sounds of the rest of the album which is just right.
With ‘Dust’ we have a set of tracks that, while veiled and eerie, nevertheless beguile and enfold the listener. This is an album of supreme gentleness that is not easy listening but is easy to listen to. And when you do listen to it closely you really feel a presence that is almost indescribable. It’s hard to say what Mt. Mountain were channeling when they were recording this album, but they were properly in the zone. Tune in and zone out!
(See below the picture for purchasing information)
‘Dust’ is released by Cardinal Fuzz on 24th April, with pre-orders going live on 20th March.
Also available from Mt Mountain (Aus) directly here and Sky Lantern (US) here.
Follow me on Twitter @psychinsightmsc, Facebook and Instagram