Mountains of the Moon have dropped their latest single on Spotify on the 27th of January 2021. It is called The Purl. This Stockholm-based indie-folk band was founded in 2015 and since then they released several records including Caterpillar that became critically acclaimed and established a stable position for them within the indie-folk scene in the Swedish capital. Their sound reminds me of the music of artists like Damien Rice, Glen Hansard and Daughter. However, their Nordic origins can be sensed in the topics of their lyrics too, that is what makes them quite unique within the genre they operate.
The first time I listened to The Purl, felt like being in a dream within a dream. That reverb, the sound of the guitars and the vocals work well together and create sonically a very magical atmosphere for the tune. Its arrangement is coherent, and the production is well executed too. In terms of theme, the lyrics speak of personal identity, and looking for trails to follow in life, a topic that all of us can relate to. This is written with style and elegance, the lyrics are imaginative and poetic, which in natural phenomenons appear as metaphors at times. It is the perfect reflection of their music and they blend truly well together.
According to its overall sonic identity, I would consider this song a ballad. It is also guitar-driven, and the reverb effects play a major role in its sonic identity. The vocal melody and the reverbs create a beautiful, calm atmosphere. The Purl is the typical tune that one listens to, on sleepy Sundays while looking out of the window to watch the autumn leaves fall or the mountains on the horizon that are covered by rain. Although dynamics are also used well.
The first half of the song is quite light, melancholic but in the second half of it, dynamic, energetic drums come in and give the song a sort of sonic punchline. The tracks of the vocals and instruments are balanced, and the overall master recording has solid, great quality. Its arrangement is also done with a profession, keeps the listener’s attention, it is just as long as needed. It could be considered a tune with an A-B-A-B-C or verse-chorus-verse-chorus-outro structure, due to the lack of melodic change, the focus is put on the dynamics instead.
Sonically, this tune is well-written. Its structure works well, keeping the attention of the listener yet not turning into monotony at all. The instrumental arrangements are done with care, the lyrics support the messages of the songs and strengthen the artistic identity of the Swedish formation. Furthermore, the quality of the production and artwork is also excellent. Both support the brand of the band.
Mountains of the Moon have been getting increasing attention from fans in the last couple of years. Due to the few efforts they invest in promotion, their inclining popularity is to be linked to the quality of their records only. Foreseeably, they will likely get the attention of record labels soon too. Who knows, maybe after the Covid-19 crisis, this band could become rapidly the major headliner of folk festivals in Scandinavia and across all Europe.
Photography: Paulina Fröling