The Mountain Moves

Treetop Flyers

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The Mountain Moves Review

by Scott Kerr

Treetop Flyers came and went in a haze of nostalgic Americana with their 2009 EP To Bury the Past, and then spent the next few years playing shows across the U.K. and the States. It is clear from the outset of the record that the London-based five-piece aren't about to offer anything groundbreaking or original, but their warming brand of late-'60s California-strummed guitars and soulful vocals belies their English roots. It's unsurprising that their debut full-length, The Mountain Moves, was recorded in the sunny climes of Malibu with Bert Jansch producer Noah Georgeson aiding the transatlantic influences of the Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash. The album kicks off with the bustling "Things Will Change," which proves their poppier credentials with a sweeping riff and stomping, singalong chorus whipped into a rasping finale. Each song is constructed with precision and undeniable craft; whether it's the slow-burning "Roses in the Yard" with lead singer Reid Morrison's soulful croon carrying the song beautifully, or the bluesy guitar riffs that lead "Picture Show"; each note, melody, and harmony has been dutifully considered. The languid start to "Haunted House" eventually picks up with a chugging bassline which powers the song into a rampaging ending that evokes the early alt-country sound of My Morning Jacket. Their English roots betray them every once in a while, with the gritty blues of the Rolling Stones buried in the crunchy guitar riffs, and the quiet undertones of English folk luminaries Nick Drake and Fairport Convention that appear in the acoustic closer "Is It All Worth It." In their formative years they were tipped for success with nu-folk buddies Mumford & Sons, but Treetop Flyers' prudent and calculated decision to hone their sound and skills is obvious in their success here. Side-stepping the chart-busting singles of their former labelmates, they have carved their own identity in the rich roots of the country and folk musics that have inspired their debut.

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