Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Mountainhood: The Boat-Maker's Daughter

Psychedelic music is usually associated with some notion of altered consciousness, fueled by drugs or at the very least, inspired by a sensibility that understands how pliable consciousness can be (particularly when chemically enhanced). But there are other kinds  non-ordinary states of consciousness; dreaming, hypnosis, forms of contemplation, ecstatic prayer. Sometimes those states are a result of something less intentional as when you are apprehended for a moment by the unexpected sighting of a hawk, by Venus in the morning, or those rare but startling connections with another person. When we recall these moments to others, it is difficult to capture fully how were altered, how something in our consciousness actually shifted. Thank God then for music like Mountainhood that understands the necessity for art to transmit those strangely ineffable moments. More importantly, it's no good to keep it to yourself. Mountainhood's songs embrace a mood of fellowship, even as they struggle with how personal and particular those moments can be.

Mountainhood belongs to that new movement in psych-folk, much like their label mates Sore Eros, that begs for a new name for music that traditionally has been called psychedelic. It's not that there is something radical going on here, as Mountainhood plays very well with all that came before, but referencing a genre shouldn't lock you into being labeled as part of that genre. Their originality has to do with risk, not with what is added, but what is stripped away to get to the essence of the form they are working with. Mountainhood's songs live in an eternal moment as in an autumn morning after an evening rain. The air is cool and moist, the sky is not yet clear, and may not be all day. But there is a sense of potential, and of some lingering sadness.

--Listen to "Apacotees"

--Buy The Boat-Maker's Daughter

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