Mountain Movers + Sparrow Steeple
MOUNTAIN MOVERS - https://themountainmovers.bandcamp.com/album/mountain-movers
Watching the Mountain Movers' progression over the course of the past decade has truly been a treat. Their earliest beginnings saw the band documenting Dan Greenes vast catalog of songs, while displaying a rotating cast of New Haven musicians unique skills. The band produced three albums and several singles of polished indie rock in this incarnation. However, their fourth album, 2010s Apple Mountain, saw the band transition to stranger territory; home-recorded and employing an arsenal of miscellaneous instruments, the record bore a folk-psychedelic element not displayed on their previous work. Shortly after Apple Mountain, constant members Greene and Rick Omonte were joined by lead guitarist Kryssi Battalene and drummer Ross Menze to form, what is now, the band's longest running lineup. The band has since produced a series of singles, lathe-cuts, cassettes, 2015s Death Magic; an album that melded Greenes song writing with the bands ability to stretch out and improvise. In 2016, they previewed the "Sunday Drive / No Plans" cassingle (recorded at former drummer John Millers home studio), giving us - the listener - the first glimpse into the Movers newest modes. Two instrumental improvisations clocking in at just under 20 minutes that bring to mind names like Neu! and Ash Ra Tempel, as much as they do any number of American psychedelic acts of the 1960s. The band's sixth, eponymous album "Mountain Movers" is bookended by two long-form jams with three perfect, crystalline pop songs sandwiched in between, mirroring both aspects of the band & representing the most fully realized recorded representation of the band's live show to date. Expect it to surface in May, 2017 on Chicago's Trouble In Mind Records.
SPARROW STEEPLE - https://sparrowsteeple.bandcamp.com
Sparrow Steeple's music exists in its own universe. An imagined utopia (or is it a dystopia?) of wolfmen, murderous wizards, whispering woods & leprechaun treasure. Their second album "Tin Top Sorcerer" arrives near the front end of 2019, just in time for spring to blossom.
Comprised of three members of inscrutable indie legends Strapping Fieldhands (who blazed many musical trails in the Nineties via records for Siltbreeze, Shangri-La & their own Omphalos Records), Sparrow Steeple specialize in mini-opuses that drift & careen haphazardly like Grimm's Fairy Tales sung by Syd Barrett - psychedelic tales of rapturous joy & sinister machinations by creatures real & imagined, all wrapped around dreamlike tunes of avant folk, psychedelia, and outsider music. "Roll Baby"s drunken-tavern sing-a-long is peppered by blistering guitar leads & wobbly harmonica (courtesy of Philly-legend "Harmonica" Dan Balcer) while "Stabbing Wizards" backwards guitar lends a foggy aura of disquiet to the tale of treachery & betrayal. Despite the fantastic yarns spun (see the tragic tale of the "Wolfman of Mayberry", or "Girl of the Whispering Woods"), "Tin Top Sorcerer" has an air of realism - or perhaps "magical realism", that place these songs in a place simultaneously out-of-time and from a possible future, permeated by a sense that these things could actually have happened (or will happen) at some point in our shared existence.
"Tin Top Sorcerer" is an LP-only release on black vinyl, and will be available digitally via most streaming services & digital retailers.
RIYL: Strapping Fieldhands, Ariel Pink, Guided by Voices, Syd Barrett, Pearls Before Swine, Sebadoh
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