Mountain Home

Mountain Home

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Where have we heard this voice before? When is a duo not a duo? When it is San Diego's Mountain Home. Here are yet another psychedelic, mournful folk pair of songwriters who appear on their self-titled debut dressed all hippie in off-white. The songs and music of Joshua Blatchley and Kristin Sherer are drenched in acoustic guitars, harmoniums, and dulcimers, all draped in gentle reverb that is nonetheless steeped in the warm solitude and the gothic spookiness of real Americana. The sleeve on this debut lists thank yous: to Espers and Fern Hill, Pantaleimon (Andria Degens), Marissa Nadler, and power guitar freak-out trio Earthless. In the listening, one can hear spectral and wholesale elements from all but the last. One can hear traces of the same inspiration that seized Brightblack Morning Light, but this is wispier, harder to hold on to, more minor key and monotone than that group's more transcendental rootsy brew. Five songs, 37 minutes of trippy gentle melancholy. But there are other sounds here too, as this acoustic-drone music, utterly lacking in a dynamic range, nonetheless has a textural one and it is supplied by Greg Weeks of Espers, who recorded and produced the set, Ilya Monosov plays banjo, acoustic guitar, and hurdy gurdy, and Margie Wienk of Fern Knight helps out, as does that familiar sounding voice: Marissa Nadler sings lead on all of these tunes, and they are all the stronger for it. Her own songs contain much more imagination than these in terms of their construction, but the lyrics here are beautiful and haunting, and in Nadler's voice it wouldn't matter if she were singing only a single note for the duration: they become something otherworldly. This short full-length -- or long EP, depending on your point of view -- is the second release on the Philadelphia indie Language of Stone, new home to all things spacy; it's promising, but with so much contributed by friends it will be interesting to hear where they travel to next, if they travel at all.

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