16 February 2011

Cold Mountain Child - stilness singing (2010, Dinosaur Club)

Debut album for a new American indie duo, coming from Kalamazoo, Michigan, now offered for free, "Stilness Singing" see the birth of a highly impressive, nuanced and subtle formation whose songwriting goes wall along those developed previously by bands such as Spain, Lullaby for the Working Class, Hayden or Carissa's Wierd.             

Cold Mountain Child is a collaboration between Tyler Bradley (guitar and vocals) and David Spalvieri-Kruse (piano and guitar), whose solo project Deep Waters was one of my strongest surprises of last year.

Tyler writes and sings in a traditional melancholic pastoral not so adventurous indie folk style while on certain songs the contribution of David, adds atmospheric depth and an emotional dynamic tension to the songs, and really succeeds into transcending the original purpose. 

If Cold Mountain Child was a solo project of Tyler Bradley, I think I would find it typical and relatively conventional, even if the melodies are pleasant. What makes this album interesting and valuable are those instants where the songs slowly leave the rails for something more emotional musically, and discreetly claim to adhere to the Carissa's Wierd's slowcore approach, even if much more laid back and minimal.  

Eleven songs for forty minutes, and a few highlights which suddenly wakes you up from the drowsiness induced. The opening and closing songs, "Sister Song" and "Of Self" are particularly remarkable. "Form Lost" is another example with this piano which stays in the background and sometimes rises to the forefront, along a splendid processed electric guitar, and surprisingly open doors to let gusts of fresh hair wave your hair. 

 "Dusk Prayer' is a song whose first part will only be listened in anticipation of the glowing second part introduced by bright ethereal guitars which will return at the closing. The same brilliance is at work during the last minute of "Becoming Still".

The instrumental "(light wakes)" is particularly moving close to a quieter, even more nocturnal and pastoral Lullaby for the Working Class.

"Stillness singing" is a nice debut album and a good omen about the directions they may explore in their next release (a Cold Mountain Child EP and a Deep Waters LP are promised). There are instrumental moments here which just wait to be fully developed and bloom to deliver strong emotions. 

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