Mt. Desolation – Mt. Desolation

January 01, 1970



Now that Tim Rice-Oxley and Jesse
Quin, two of the mainstays of the British band Keane, have opted to detour into
the realms of Americana, they may find their new outfit, Mt. Desolation, actually
eclipses their day job. And deservedly so. Keane’s keyboard-oriented sound
rarely reaches for the gut — much less the heart and soul — but here the pair
not only glances inwards, but also peer wide-eyed into the far horizon. Boasting
both a cinematic sweep and the ample assistance of a substantial cast of
collaborators — members of The Killers, Mumford & Sons, The
Long Winters and Noah
& The Whale all lend their talents – the band’s self-titled debut soars on
both wistful reflection and anthemic ambition. A formidable array of
instrumentation further ups the ante, with keyboards, harpsichord, Theremin,
harmonium, banjo, glockenspiel, pedal steel, mellotron, and strings effectively
embellishing the ambiance and stirring the sentiment.


Of course, banking on embellishment
is often done to mask the fact that there’s little of substance lingering below
the surface. Happily then, Mt. Desolation boasts several musical peaks, thanks to songs that are chock full of restless
melodies and resilient refrains. They range from the jaunty down-home ramble of
“Departure” to the rowdy hoedown “Platform 7” and the banjo-plunked revelry of
“Annie Ford” to the heartfelt circumspect of ballads like “Coming Home,”
“Bridal Gown” and “State of Our Affairs.” Imagine the down home demeanor of the
Band matched with the stirring resolve of the E Street Band, and that panoramic
view takes on a profound perspective. A terrific debut, Mt Desolation already
looms large.


DOWNLOAD: “Departure,” “Annie Ford,” “State of Our Affairs” LEE ZIMMERMAN


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