on 16 August 2013
As someone who spends a little too much time listening to electronic music, this has been a great insight into a different, folky, fully acoustic world.
I must begin by outrightly stating my belief that Mountain Man are an incredible band - I would recommend looking them up on YouTube to find their live performance videos, which typically comprise of just the three singers and just a guitar - a very small selection of parts that creates a full bodied sound. While listening to the record, there's a true sense of each member and each instrument. Their sound seems to be taking inspiration from classic American folk music and this is definitely an album that feels like it should be listened to while in the American countryside. The simplicity of the pieces creating a feeling of unparalleled wholesomeness.
Personally, I found the album's opening to be the strong point. "Buffalo" has an infectious melody, while "Animal Tracks" is my favourite song on the album. "Soft Skin" is another great track. Some songs just aren't to my taste and thus the four star rating.
A friend recommended this to me and I am glad he did. This all girl trio have made a slice of blue grass lovliness that is as different from anything else I have heard in a long while and at the same time has a timless quality that may have you thinking nothing new here.
Like the other excellent review I agree that stand out songs are 'Swee swee' and 'Soft skin', though having said that the first time I heard it I felt as though all the songs blended in together. They harmonise beautifully through out in a style that is so graceful it appears effortless. Somone compared it to the siren scene from 'O brother where art thou' and I entirely concur.
At times it feels almost religious as in something you could hear without fear of sacriledge in a Cathederal. The only real criticism is that you will need to persevere in order to appreciate the differences in the songs as the lack of many instruments save a guitar tend to lean toward a feeling of deja vu, but in an altogether pleasant way. I hear thay are very good live too.
on 13 February 2012
I heard 'Soft Skin' over a year ago and it's pleasantly been haunting me till I finally bought this album. It's just over 31 minutes long - and that's the only downside to this exquisite collection of short poetic slices of heaven.
Each song is a tiny piece of acoustic and harmonic perfection. If you like good old fashioned music with guitar, and three awesome young female singer/songwriters, then I cannot recommend this highly enough.
It's folk/blue grass/country/rock/ballad/poetry/melody/uplifting/soul surging music, and I just cannot give this high praise enough.
The only two albums I'm listening to at the moment are Billie Holiday (100 songs) & 'Made The Harbor' by Mountain Man.
on 4 June 2010
Mountain Man have a transient curio on their slender hands, and, following the campfire folk of First Aid Kit as a beacon, they've come out of the woods to air it. Their traditional American folk effortlessly resurrects yesteryear with zero pomp, ceremony or pretence. Made The Harbor evocatively paints a picture - their Mountain Man is relaxing on his isolated porch, listening to a light breeze through the rustling bluegrass, reflecting all the while upon a hard-worked day down in the cottonfields.
Hot on the heels of last year's well-received, self-released and eponymous debut, this Vermont-based, all-girl trio again capture the barely-there atmospherics of acts like Tiny Vipers, perhaps as fronted by some sepia-toned, Prohibition-era Marissa Nadler. The achingly familiar and gently drifting "Sewee Sewee" and "Soft Skin" are most strongly in this vein and are particularly affecting and beautiful as a result.
The rich vocal harmonies on offer are largely a cappella and sometimes religious in sound and lyrics ("Babylon"). Coming with the sparsest of acoustic accompaniment, the girls' thirteen wispy tracks are intangible, steeped in history rather than bourbon and completely lost in time. Their dog-eared tales - as relevant today as then - are seemingly carried in and out of earshot on fleeting breaths of melody.
Made The Harbor drips in reference to the "mighty Mississippi" and, in particular, "How'm I Doin" rings with timeworn blues and gospel tints that convey a not-so-long lost, deep South ambience. Mountain Man's bucolic collection of olde worlde songs are delivered with contemporary affection, and their combined efforts duly seem as wise, ever-present and old as the hills from whence their influences came.
Advised downloads: "Sewee Sewee" and "Soft Skin".
on 31 August 2010
Mountain Man are three young ladies from America who met not so long ago at college in Vermont. This, their first widely available album, has a live feel to it which places them right there with you as you listen.
Their voices, with occasional acoustic guitar but otherwise unadorned, weave in and around each other like so many strands of DNA. The songs are timeless. All at once managing to sound ancient, contemporary and like something from a distant future where humankind has desisted with its petty squabbles and realised that harmony is the true path to enlightenment. The overall effect is utterly captivating.