Mountains – Choral

March 1, 2009

Choral, by Mountains (Thrill Jockey 2009)

Choral, by Mountains (Thrill Jockey 2009)

Tired of the lousy weather? Sick from the unrelenting stream of bad news? Me too, but hey: I’m here to offer up an antidote in the form of Mountains’ new album, “Choral.” Recorded just about a year ago, according to the Thrill Jockey webpage, it captures perfectly the feel of winter finally giving way to spring, in much the same way that Fennesz’s “Endless Summer” evokes thoughts of the months that follow.

“Choral” consists of six tracks, four of which stretch for eight minutes or more. As the album title suggests, the compositions combine electronics with acoustic instruments and even field recordings to create chorus effects and an overall sense of relaxed movement. Surprises like the acoustic guitar that emerges as the electronics subside towards the end of the title track, the sounds of a rainstorm that provide a backdrop for the rest of the arrangements in “Telescope,” and the quiet bells and chimes at the beginning of “Melodica,” make the tracks individually memorable even as each flows gracefully into the next.  A welcome escape for now; and soon, let’s hope, a fantastic soundtrack for spring.

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