(2011) Mount Moriah - Mount Moriah

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Mount Moriah
By Stephen M. Deusner; June 24, 2011
Rating : 7.8
In a 2006 interview with Pitchfork, the Mountain Goats\' John Darnielle explained why he chose Bellafea as an opening act: "I took out good bands I liked! It\'s really as simple as that. I really wanted people to see Bellafea especially. I think you don\'t see a stage presence like Heather McEntire\'s more than a few times in your life. She\'s unbelievable." Five years later, Bellafea\'s fate is unknown-- it\'s unclear whether they\'re on indefinite hiatus or broken up permanently-- but McEntire\'s charisma comes through strong and clear in her new act, Mount Moriah, which she formed with guitarist Jenks Miller of Horseback. While Bellafea derived its sound from spartan postpunk experimentalism, Mount Moriah explores more traditional folk, country, and gospel sounds. Those are, of course, the hallmarks of the bustling North Carolina scene-- one of the most interesting and active in the country right now-- but this new sound is a perfect setting for McEntire, whose voice suggests the expressiveness of Dolly Parton, the forcefulness of Carole King, and the textured restraint of Emmylou Harris.
Dominated by shuffling drums, slow southern rock guitar licks, and pedal steel, the music on Mount Moriah is unobtrusive and reserved-- at times almost too much so-- but there are some fine flourishes in these songs, which feature members of Megafaun, St. Vincent, and Bowerbirds. The strings on "Old Gowns" quiver and sob, as if allowing McEntire to maintain her composure, and Miller\'s steady, chiming guitar theme on "Lament" gives her something to lean on. The music isn\'t as distinctive as the singer, but the band\'s mission is to support, not compete with, her performance. The accompaniment is understated by necessity, because what else can you do when the album\'s finest moment is McEntire singing wordlessly and eloquently on "Old Gowns", sustaining a single syllable to show the full, gorgeous grain of her voice?
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Country: USA
Genre: Indie-Folk
Quality: 320 kbps
01 - Only Way Out.mp3
02 - Social Wedding Rings.mp3
03 - Plane.mp3
04 - Lament.mp3
05 - Old Gowns.mp3
06 - The Reckoning.mp3
07 - We Don\'t Need Much.mp3
08 - Hail, Lightning.mp3
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