Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
The thing that I think about every damned time I go up and out on a plane is what it's going to feel like if our plane were to be halved by another plane in mid-air. What would it feel like should the improbable, lethal impact explosion not happen and we're just all going to drops like fat raisons into a huge and cold body of water? What would it feel like to have a bunch of unseen creatures circling and pushing up against the bottoms of our feet? What would it feel like to latch onto some piece of the obliterated plane metal, hang onto it for dear life and paddle to one of those proverbial desert islands where we'd either await rescue or whither away, thirty and weak? It happens every time, this assuming that the worst is going to happen, that everything's going to end in a second. One thing that I'm pretty sure I couldn't deal with on a deserted island is a copy of any Mountains albums. There are those people who have their lists of what records they would take or want with them if they were to ever go through a situation like the one mentioned above. There they are marooned amongst some sand and some palm trees and they'd be draining the final battery life of their portable electronic devices, listening to the music that has and always will sustain them.
The music that Brendon Anderegg and Koen Holtkamp of Mountains make is every bit the essence of the sounds and sensations that you'd become accustomed to were you to find yourself all alone in the middle of an open sea. They bring to the fold those sounds of an island - those rushes and those whooshes, the silence and the kind of unstoppable, churning mind that could lead to the maddening disintegration of spirits. It's the soothing waves of the tides sweeping across the welcome mat of the beach and it's what starts to become that nettlesome comfort that becomes everything but. You can hear within their music that turbulence, that sense that everything that sounds pleasant is really just sharpening its claws for that right moment to pounce and get this over with. It's sitting there with a bib on and with utensils in hand, like a cartoon wolf staring at a rusty gas tank and imagining it - in mirage fashion - as a rotisserie chicken, succulent and juicy. Mountains are the oceans that seem to be getting angrier or less forgiven all the time and they show it through an unrelenting charge and retreat, through a passive benevolence that we've always believed to be true colors.
Thrill Jockey Records