Fresh from serenading my ears for yet another summer, Mountain Man have emerged not once, but twice in different forms for me in the past few days. Alongside the announcement of a new live album comes a track that sees the trio apply their already atmospheric vocal style to a completely lyric-less piece. ‘Vision’ was written alongside a story about a US coast guard tower turned industrial-strength bird killing machine and is just about the best distillation of why Mountain Man are so wonderful that I’ve come across. The best thing about the group has always been just how much feeling they can cram into ostensibly extremely simplistic arrangements, and ‘Vision’, with its overlapping a capella vocals, denotes that perfectly. This is pure atmosphere, reduced to its barest essentials and yet, as vocals become melodic and rhythmic simultaneously, still remains complex enough to wonder over.
And yet just as Mountain Man are exemplified, Molly Erin Sarle has revealed her part in BOBBY, a new Vermont group who couldn’t seem more different. Their debut single, ‘Sore Spores’ is a wonderfully tacked together mix of skewed pop, complete with whistling B-movie sci-fi synth, and a downbeat, heavily-strummed indie chorus that resolves itself into a single, airy pattern by the end of the song’s runtime. With vocal duties alternating between Molly’s tremulous, beautiful style and (I think) band founder Tom Greenberg’s laconic American drawl, the tone is far removed from what I’ve come to expect from a Mountain Man member, but is no less intriguing. Apparently, they have an album out, and I’m definitely going to make it my mission to track it down. So should you.