One of the best things about being a music blogger is you often just have amazing music fall into your lap. That was the case with Port Huron quartet Mountain Babies. Their newest EP, Existence of Resistance, and was immediately hooked to their unique nu-folk sound.
Existence of Resistance starts off somberly with the EP’s title track. The soft opening guitars will lull you into a sense of calm. Before you know it you’ve fallen under Mountain Babies’ hypnotic spell. Dave Peters’ ghostly vocals are both soothing and oddly haunting, reminding me a bit of Nick Cave. The track has a nice 70’s psych rock vibe to it as it begins to build around the 2-minute mark. I fall more in love with this track with each listen.
Things pick up a bit on “Pine Cones & Grindstones.” The track walks a line between rambling Johnny Cash and something you might hear from a modern act like Fleet Foxes. The opening vocals amble into lush guitars which float over a light beat that you’ll be unable to resist bobbing your head along to. The music falls off into a chaotic jumble that feels a bit like an experimental jazz improvisation before settling back into the last chorus. “Pine Cones & Grindstones” would fit nicely on a soundtrack for a modern western.
Typically I’ll notice any instrumental track that goes for more than a couple of minutes. This was not the case with the EP’s fourth track “The Temple.” I typically listen to what I’m reviewing while writing but I had to completely turn off this track because it just kept sucking me in. At just over 5 minutes long, it took me several listens before I realized how much time I had spent not writing. The opening riff saunters along until the deep strum of the bass line slides in. The track feels like the jam sessions of a group of musicians that work together like a well-oiled machine. Melodies tumble over one another coming together so perfectly that it’s impossible not to get swept away.
While all four tracks on Existence of Resistance have a sense of experimentation to them, “Witches” is possibly the most ambitious. The sound bounces between light and dark feeling both familiar and like nothing I’ve ever heard before. The opening shimmering guitars are calming at first but the air of unease sets in more and more the longer they go on. The backing vocals to Peters’ ethereal voice give the track a fitting feeling of an incantation woven to make you fall further under Mountain Babies’ spell.
Existence of Resistance will pull you in from the first note. It’s a strange yet enchanting journey into the world that Mountain Babies so perfectly creates throughout the EP’s four track run. Like a good book, you’ll want to keep going back to relive the story over and over again.
You can pick up Existence of Resistance on Bandcamp.