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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tuesday Is For Tunes: Mountain Man


I’ve been rather attached to folk music and it’s slightly wilder cousin, folk rock, lately as that is good music for roadtripping. And while I have no issues with keeping The Tallest Man On Earth and Titus Andronicus on repeated play, I thought it would be good to seek out something new for my new excursions. Thusly, I found Mountain Man, a folk trio from Vermont, not to be confused with the Massachusetts hardcore band of the same name that I also enjoy. (Let it never be said that I lack eclectic tastes.)

Like the sirens down by the river in O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Molly Erin Sarle, Alexandra Sauser-Monnig, Amelia Randall Meath are three honey-throated ladies that create hypnotizing harmonies. But unlike those infamous sirens, they are real women making real music. Steeped in the traditions of hills, hollows, and hymnals, Mountain Man sing songs like arcadian dreams. Their awe-inspiring a cappella style is occasionally set with sparse acoustic guitar. Still, they keep things simple, and allow their perfectly blended vocals to shine. Drawing inspiration from natural things like birds and dogs, the lyrics are seamlessly matched to the music. It’s really just a lovely to hear. Innocuously delicate, yet it possesses the power to move souls.

I’m really delighted to find some new female folk artists to love. Perhaps I unfortunately hold higher standards for women, but most of the musicians I like are men. Lissie was the last new songstress I came to admire. Try as I might, I just can’t get down with Joanna Newsome, who somehow always strikes me as both cloying and strident. Though undeniably in the same genre as Newsome, Mountain Man sound more genuine to me. Their lack of pretentions allows their music to resonate within the intimate spaces of my heart. I’m thoroughly enjoying the songs available on their MySpace right now, but especially Honeybee and Mouthwings. I’d like to suggest you go hear for yourself.

The debut full length from Mountain Man, Made The Harbor, is set to release July 20th. I'll most likely be somewhere in the middle of American then, but hopefully I can pick up a copy for my travels. In the meantime, here are a series of videos they made with Yours Truly. They sound like lullabies and friendship, and look like Northern California. At least by my reckoning, that’s all kinds of enjoyable.



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