The music of Mountain Man (aka Molly Erin Sarle, Alexandra Sauser-Monnig and Amelia Randall Meath) is nestled in the tradition of American folk, but shoots like diamond dust out of that nest into the high, wide atmosphere. Their songs are shaped by three searching voices, encompassing harmonies and a shared belief in and love of the world.
Recorded in an old ice cream parlour from the turn of the 20th century, each track from Made the Harbor is imbued with the likes of warm breaths, creaking of floors, soft thumping of hands against their bodies, the clearing of their throats, or the false start of a tune, evoking the feeling of being in the room with the band as the record plays, demanding intimacy between the art and its listener.
The girls themselves offer the following snapshots of how some of these songs came to be:
Molly wrote the dog song while visiting her best friend Ally in New Orleans. She was feeling fairly lovesick and lost in tropical chaos. Ally’s living room floor was covered in potting soil, small seeds and larger green leaves (which could easily have been made into wings or a boat) and a guitar with only three top strings. With the help of the guitar, Molly’s questions came out to comfort her, to tell the fall’s unfamiliarly warm night air “I belong too”, making the Dog Song.
Soft Skin is a series of questions following the first line of the song, “I’ve got soft skin, are you gonna let me in?” It plays off the associations between women, their soft skin, and vulnerability, or openness within (sexual) relationships (Molly’s generalization). Soft Skin is meant to question the origins and entaglements of the desire for violence in sex (socialization?), as well as the blurry lines between love, lust and gender roles as played out through ‘intimacy’. Enjoy.
Mouthwings is a song about creating for the love you will eventually receive, as opposed to loving the creation itself. It is also about being a mother, or what amelia thinks being a mother might feel like. Amelia wrote this song in her backyard one spring afternoon while the neighbors were yelling and the cat would not leave her alone.
Sewee Sewee happened to Alex in her sleep, at least some of it. She woke up in the middle of the night thinking she had written the perfect song, but all she could remember in the morning was, “sewee sewee, we traveled far on this road we’re on.”
Alex wrote Animal Tracks in her tiny, wonderfully bright room at Bennington College. Spring had finally arrived after months of cold and darkness. Fresh indoors from a twilight walk, she spent a lovely, solitary evening listening to the peepers near the pond, and to the wind rustling the dark night through the open window. And what popped out but Animal Tracks!
Made the Harbor is filled with wind, bellowing sea lions, and sand dollars from past loves and current sisters. It is an album to swim home to, and to sail away with as it grazes the horizon with its sails.TRACKLIST
Standard Black Vinyl includes Digital Download Card.
Released July 10, 2010