If you miss the dreamy, countrified shoegaze sound of bands like Mazzy Star and Cowboy Junkies, you really need to check out Speck Mountain. For a relatively young band, they have a surprisingly mature and confident sound - with grandly orchestrated songs that feature instruments both expected (guitar, organ) and unexpected (horns!) Lead singer Marie-Claire Balabanian can definitely remind you of Hope Sandoval at times (particularly in the opening track, which could easily pass for a lost Mazzy Star tune) but she also has a sweet country tenor on a few tracks, hinting at a versatility the band would be wise to exploit. This is easily one of the most impressive releases of 2009 so far. Highly recommended.