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Mt. Desolation – Departure / State of Our Affairs

December 13, 2010 by  

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Mt. Desolation – Departure / State of Our Affairs

NAME: Mt. Desolation
SINGLE: Departure / State of Our Affairs
DATE: 11October2010

LABEL: Island


FIVE WORD REVIEW: Atomspheric Yet Not Cheesy Alt-Country

LOCATION: various

LINE UP: Tim Rice-Oxley – vocals, piano, harpsichord, Jesse Quin – guitars, vocals, BVs, glockenspiel

mt des.jpg

WHAT’S THE STORY?: An alt-country band with it’s principal members originally from much maligned indie softies Keane? Doesn’t sound like much of a promising prospect, but hold your horses, Mt. Desolation’s live line-up consists of an impressive group of musicians from The Killers, Noah and the Whale, Mumford and Sons and other indie-ish fellows. Their recent self-titled album was recieved warmly by the cream of music citics, and if this double A-side is anything to go by, Mt. Desolation are much more than a mere vanity project

SOUNDS LIKE: The two tracks here couldn’t be more different in tone if they tried, the band really demonstrate here slices of the contrasting atmospherics that make up their debut album. ‘Departure’ is a rollicking country stomp with banjo and fiddle thrown liberally into the rousing chorus, surprisingly complimenting Rice-Oxley’s vocals nicely. You can almost see hay bales, linedancing boots and glasses of sasparilla being passed around. And oddly, the track doesn’t sound cheesy. A miracle and a triumph.

On the other hand, ‘State of Our Affairs’ is a brooding, atmospheric number, mournful vocals over scant instrumentalisation begins the track in glacial fashion. It builds gradually, painfully, referencing the slow and steady climb of their fictional namesake, Mt. Desolation. Despite sounding nothing like it, there are echoes of the Arcade Fire’s debut, ‘Funeral’ in this song; distinctly narrative with a real feel of an almost abandoned mountain town.

Ahh, lovely. Jaunty and haunting in equal measure; for those unsure if the album is worth your hard earned pennies, this should sway you in the right direction.

YOU’LL LIKE THIS IF: You’re into The Mountain Goats, Mumford and Sons and chilly nights round campfires.


Submitted By Nadia



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