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Mount Moriah will release How to Dance, their third full-length record, on February 26. How to Dance is available for pre-order now on CD and limited-edition "coke bottle" clear LP in the Merge store, or digitally via iTunes where pre-orders will receive an instant download of the first single, "Cardinal Cross."
The cardinal grand cross is one of the most difficult astrological alignments to achieve, and the Greek mythological figure Chiron represents wisdom and healing. The song "Cardinal Cross" illustrates these elements both lyrically and sonically, introducing us to the album with furious energy and clarity of vision. The addition of horns heightens the drama as the guitars swirl and Heather McEntires voice seems to summon what she seeks. Listen to and share the track now.
The North Carolina-based band Mount Moriahcomposed of McEntire (lead vocals, guitar), Jenks Miller (lead guitar, keys), and Casey Toll (bass, keys)-seem insistent to grow. If Mount Moriahs self-titled debut showed them standing with sea legs, determined to dream their way free from the dark crevices and corners of alt-country's stiff template; and if Miracle Temple, their second album, called that darkness by its Southern name and met it with fire; then their latest collection of songs, How to Dance, is a devotion to the cosmic light itself: moving towards it, moving into it, becoming it. Mount Moriah's third full-length sees them stretching further to explore their collective interest in the intangible fringes of fate and synchronicity. With How to Dance, the band presents new themes of symbolism, mysticism, alchemy, universality, sacred geometry. There is color, confidence, self-direction, joy. There is also darkness, but only to show you how it found its light.
Mount Moriah will have new tour dates to announce soon, but in the meantime, watch the lyric video for "Calvander" from their recently released 7-inch as well as live video from the band's recent sold-out hometown show.
"French horn is hard to play. Making hot beats is fun and easy. LETS MAKE A BAND." -Robert in 2007
We are two brothers who enjoy photoshopping French horns onto things they shouldn't be photoshopped on.
When the three members of Quilt arrived in New York City in April to begin the intensive recording process for their second album, the new and aptly named Held in Splendor, they stepped directly into spring. Anna Fox Rochinski, Shane Butler and John Andrews had spent much of the previous several months clutched away at "The Puritan Garage" in Boston's Charlestown, shielding themselves from a winter of blizzards with the haven of their practice space and a set of fresh songs.
Since the release of their 2011 self-titled debut on Mexican Summer, they'd become more than kids just out of college. They'd become a bona fide hard-touring band, with stories to share from the road and experiences to distill into the narrative of new music. Though they continued to write and arrange tunes together, always an essential part of Quilt's creative process, they brought songs to one another, too, making and modifying demo tapes for the first time. No longer rookies, Quilt began to approach their music like a lifeline. Coming to New York, then, just as the magnolia trees bloomed and the season of new life began to blossom, Quilt got to work.
"That was," says Rochinski, "a magical time to be making a record."
Indeed, when Butler talks about recording the kaleidoscopic Held in Splendor, he seems to speak of an ornate children's playground. Whereas their first album was made mostly for free and mostly by friends over the course of a year of starts and stops, in sessions that captured the early and elemental and exciting efforts of a band finding its footing, Quilt entered the proper in-house studio located beneath the Mexican Summer offices in Brooklyn for this one. They'd allocated a solid month for recording, and they clocked full days, every day, with Woods member and producer Jarvis Taveniere.
The approach was wide-open: They tuned drums and recorded the same song with multiple microphone set-ups. They added bass and invited friends who added saxophone and violin, cello and steel guitar. They built this album together.
"We would go in for 10 hours a day, six days a week, and we just made sounds and jokes for the entire time. It was an incredible way to make a record," Butler says. "We were able to flesh out the songs in crazy ways we'd never imagined: There are all these loop-based drones beneath the songs, and we used more pedals than we'd ever used before."
Held in Splendor is is an audacious pop-rock record with cascading harmonies and billowing textures, punchy rhythms and snarled guitars, wonderful depth and resplendent peaks. "Mary Mountain" takes hazy Summer of Love memories on a mid-summer road trip in a gleaming muscle car. "Tired & Buttered" invites Booker T over for an energy-addled jam in the garage. "The Hollow" twinkles like Fleetwood Mac and Galaxie 500, with sweet singing backed by the lap steel sighs of young acoustic guitar star and longtime Quilt pal Daniel Bachman. Held in Splendor is an album of personal poetry and public questions, confessions and aspirations—really, these 13 tracks are their own playground, brimming with the sort of unapologetic energy and wonder that turns simple songs into absolute anthems.
"We're really attracted to records where each song has its own voice. We wanted to focus on what each song had to say," Butler explains. "Having the studio, demoing the songs and knowing each other better as musicians helped make that happen. That was a really exciting process for us."
Joseph, the name of our grandfather.
We are family. We are kin. When we share our sounds and stories we offer them to you - to find yourself in them - and we invite you into this kinship, togetherness, belonging.
Joseph, a small town in eastern Oregon.
We grew up camping at the lake, staying at our Grandpa Jo's farmstead playing cards on the porch, riding down his long dusty driveway in the back of a pick up truck, watching thunderstorm shows, flying over fields on tire swings. It's these moments and others like it that make up the idea of where we're from. The town of Joseph represents so much of what feels like home: mountains, campfires, wild land under bare feet.
Joseph, a dream interpreter.
The ancient story of Joseph is compelling. He lived by his visions even in small beginnings - interpreting the dreams of fellow inmates in an Egyptian prison - he eventually became a high appointed officer to Pharaoh, directing the course of the nation. He believed in things. He hoped. Believing takes more courage than doubting, though doubting looks sexy and feels more powerful. We can set our aims low to avoid disappointment, but good narratives happen in the efforts and failings of hope. We ask ourselves often: What are our dreams? What does it look like to live the
UNION EVENTS PROUDLY PRESENTS AN EVENING WITH
SAID THE WHALE
w/ special guests
SATURDAY APRIL 23, 2016
THE DRAKE HOTEL
1150 Queen St W, Toronto, ON, Doors 8:00 PM, 19+
2015 (The Year of The Ram) has been a year of major change for Matthew Logan Vasquez. He moved with his wife, Marthe, from Brooklyn to Austin, he saw the birth of his first child Thor, and after a decade since founding his critically acclaimed band, Delta Spirit, he's finally decided to go it alone FOR THE FIRST TIME, with his solo debut, The Austin EP, to be released November, 2015 , and a full length LP, Solicitor Returns, to shortly follow in early 2016. This sea- change is reflected on the EP's stunning psych-folk-rock opener, a ballsy 18-minute track (yes EIGHTEEN minutes) that conjures desert visions of Crazy Horse guitar solos, David Crosby's mustache, and all the good things about a journey through the past on mescaline. Matt actually grew up in Austin (and Dana Point, CA too) and the song is a slice of his life--an autobiography that isn't even close to being finished-- an epic American saga that reflects his skill as a remarkable modern songwriter still on the rise. If Richard Linklater could write a song, this would be it.
"Matt's voice and words have that Nashville outcast vibe to it," says Jay Sweet, producer of the Newport Folk Festival and a longtime champion of Matt's music. "He's not California, he's not Texas, he's not Brooklyn—even though he's lived in all of those places. He's a transplant and a vagabond, which is why he embodies folk and rock music. For a singer- songwriter, he is truly refreshing."
Matt went solo for simple reasons-- to return to the style of rock he loves. And when he went solo he REALLY went solo. He plays every instrument on the record, except for two drum tracks and one guitar track. Delta Spirit undoubtedly will be back but he wanted to make a collection of music without the influence of his beloved brethren (it's only natural for a frontman to feel the need to let loose from time to time). You will hear his new material and you will hear Iggy Pop. Neil Young. Kurt Cobain. Gram Parsons. But ultimately, you're hearing Matthew Logan Vasquez. A man young at heart, who loves the shit out of rock music... loves it so much that it's been his life's goal to make the masses reconnect with her spirit. But he's become a father, and he's been through some shit. His dad was a bomb builder. Fact.
At the end of the day, Matt's objective as a singer, a poet, a preacher, a believer in this beautiful bullshit we call "RocknRoll," is to find some harmony through life's confusion and to make you feel good about yourself. He'll be spreading his message via his wonderful songs starting in the fall of 2015. You better go put your dimes in his collection basket. Are there better things you can be doin with those dimes?