Review: Oh Man, The Mountain – Songs Of Silt

Oh Man, The Mountain are one of those busy alternative folk bands, with an abundance of members to match the abundance of uplifting folk-pop fare they offer. Based across Manchester and London, they have crafted a four-song EP “celebrating the circularity of life, the beauty of nature and the inevitability of loss and death”. Surprisingly and delightfully, they achieve the aim too, in a mere twenty minutes of music.

Oh Man, The Mountain EP Cover

‘Songs Of Silt’ begins like an ending with a blast of guitar effects and percussion, sounding very much like the coda to an epic rock track. Then the instruments on ‘John’ settle, subside and give way to a lovely set of boy/girl harmonies. Like all the tracks here, it’s a pastoral-themed number, full of nature imagery (“take me as a root and pull me when I’m good”, “so bury me by the old oak tree. It was struck by lightening before i was even able to breathe”) and hope. ‘Fallen Leaves’ is cheery and gentle in tone, celebrating the rise of the sun. Yet ‘Lion Spoke’ is considerably darker in hue; partially helped by some melancholic brass movements and doomy harmonies but the arrangement is consistently lively and inventive, thereby dismissing any notions that this could be a bleak song. Finally, ‘Lake District’ strips everything back to the minimum of strings and a simple guitar refrain to bring a pleasant and melodically rich end to the record.

Oh Man, The Mountain tend to favour sprawling, epic folk-pop songs rather than pretty little ditties. In the grand scheme of things, this should indicate they will be appreciated in a longer, album format. However, ‘Songs Of Silt’ serves as a neat introduction to a creative band and their love of England’s green and pleasant land.

Web Sites:
Oh Man, The Mountain Tumblr
Oh Man, The Mountain Bandcamp

Further Listening:
Silicon Ballet, ClementWave, Belle And Sebastian, Vee Device

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