Mt. Desolation is the self-titled debut album and the side project of Keane’s Tim Rice- Oxley and Jesse Quin. But if it’s Keane’s sound you expect to hear on this album, think again. Mt. Desolation is a tantamount mix of contemporary country music infused with indie folk rock, maybe due in large part to the hosting of an extensive line-up of musical friends. Everyone from Ronnie Vannucci of the Killers, to Country Winston from Mumford & Sons and producer Emery Dobyns participate on the album. Yet, it’s the bands core duo of Tim and Jesse that truly make Mt. Desolation the musical winner that it is.
Tim steps up his game and into the limelight coming from Keane’s songwriter and resident musician to lead vocalist on Mt. Desolation, while Jesse takes over as lead guitarist. “Bitter Pill” is anything but, and it’s far and away the breakout hit that puts the alt-country idiosyncrasy of the album on the backburner and dives into the world of the indie rock that will surely be a fan favorite. “Departure” is another crowd pleaser with it’s swooning sounds that lead into a high-temp hoedown-style banjo and drum beats that would put anyone into a good mood, but it’s “Another Night On My Side” that highlights the beauty of the album with the duet between Jesse and Jessica Stayeley-Taylor (The Straves). Jessica’s voice is angelic to say the least, and the slow drum beats accentuates the beauty of the song.
When “supergroups” seem to be popping up at every corner of the music scene. Mt. Desolation is one “supergroup” that will definitely be winning fans and sticking around.