Timeless Indie Folk-Rock
Dear Nora’s Mountain Rock has been re-issued this 2017 on Orindal Records, which is coinciding with a west coast tour beginning in less than a week. It’s been over a decade since the original release of Mountain Rock, yet the album feels just as relevant today.
Frontwoman and songwriter Katy Davidson’s indie folk-rock style takes you on a wandering journey up a cloudy mountain, allowing plenty of time for clarity and insight and deep thoughts. At a whopping 20 tracks, the album is surprisingly pleasant to digest with each song clocking in at about a brisk two minutes or fewer.
Most of the melodies have a darker inclination, with the exception of the whimsical and upbeat “Here We Come Around Again,” which paints a picture of folky-mountain people dancing to tambourines in circles and “Give Me Some of Your Love,” which is quick, upbeat, and even takes the vocal volume up a couple notches, as well as the highly unedited “Round Table.”
“Living Song,” “The Climb” and “West Nile!!” provide brief instrumental transitions between tracks that are interesting despite their brevity and lack of lyrics.
Standout tracks include the delicate “Caribou, Timber Wolf” and dreamy “You Are a Bear,” as well as the deliberate “Suicide Song.” The longest track is the very last, “The Original Mountain Rock” is about as hard as it gets on Mountain Rock, channeling what appears to be a combo of Frankie Cosmos and Elliott Smith.
The vibe of Mountain Rock is similar to that of attending a live acoustic show in someone’s living room, which is highly suited to Davidson’s composition style. Delicate yet dark vocals shine throughout the album with repetitive verses that are accompanied by strumming guitars with hardly any percussion. “Departure Song” and “Suicide Song” are exceptions to the percussion rule, as they highlight rhythmic and pulsating drumming. It seems that Katy’s concept avoids layering too many sounds, and in doing so, keeping the purity and rawness that bands like Frankie Cosmos achieve so well. There’s nowhere to hide in a sound like this, making most of the tracks sound imperfect, yet beautifully relatable.