Baltimore's Secret Mountain who are offering up the dreamy and blissful ambience of 'High Horse', a track that mixes dreampop and Americana to make a spacious yet lush wall of sighing vocals andreverberating guitars.
In coming together as a six-piece, the band has had to learn sacrifice and understanding. Started by Jeff (guitar, vocals) & Kelly (vocals), the band soon added Chris (drums), Jake (keys), Corey (guitar), and Alex (bass) to the mix. “We've had to learn how to have restraint and find out what works best for the song rather than our own personal preferences,” says Jeff. Personalities are a big factor in the arrangements, and luckily for this band there’s excellent cooperation - no real problem when it comes to writing parts with each other in mind. “I think with six of us we've had to learn how to not only respect each other's boundaries but respect what's necessary for the song,” adds Kelly.
"Secret Mountains is a cohesive unit that is able to find symmetry between experimental and pop music," says curator QD Tran of The Deli Magazine. "The six-piece is made up of members with diverse palates who are talented enough to individually takeover the spotlight. However, the band works together in unison to make the whole greater than the sum of its parts with a unique balance of force and restraint that complements the group's meditative sound."
The respect and trust they have learned through songwriting is on display with "High Horse." Born from tragic personal experiences the band worked through their situations together rather than dealing with it alone.
"Lyrically, the song means a lot to both Kelly and I," confesses Jeff. "It came from a place where we were both going through losing someone that we really cared about and we were trying to figure out the best way to be there for each other." They both retreated to songwriting as a refuge and "without knowing it we meditated on the same things." "It was the first time that both of us had to come face to face with death," says Kelly. "Dealing with it that closely and directly, it was really special how we came together lyrically. It hadn't happened before this, and it kind of brought us back to a good place."
After setting up as a group it was determined that the basics of the song could be captured best with drums, bass, scratch guitar and scratch vocal. Chris played a kit of mostly Miner Street drums. Besides close mics, it was captured with two Telefunken ElaM 260s in a modified Recorderman overhead configuration, plus McTear’s and Low’s signature third overhead Coles 4038. The idea is that the ElaMs capture sparkley stereo, and the Coles captures a fat mono center image of the kit. The room mics consisted of two Fat Head ribbon mics positioned about six feet away from the snare, and relatively equidistant from the toms, with the figure 8 nulls rejecting the kit. The relative closeness of this pair, fed through a vintage DBX 162 compressor, allows the room to sound very big, while imparting very little time delay.
As the heat of the day climbed to its zenith, the session sank deeper into a contemplative state.
In typical Secret Mountains style, time slowed as the band lingered on spacious guitar riffs and Kelly’s melodic voice filled the room. When the tape stopped, the city was quiet again.
Perhaps it was due to the city’s subdued nature in the heat, or perhaps it was the subject material. But despite the fact that there were over a dozen people in the studio, the session never felt frantic.
Alex’s Jazz bass was recorded with a Neumann U67 on the studio’s rare Matchless Thunderman amp. At the same time, We recorded an initial guitar track with a Rickenbacker 330 (strung up with flat-wound strings) going through an Ampeg Gemini - a truly classic sound. He quickly followed-up with a 12 string overdub using the orange Classic 12 provided for the session by Eastwood Guitars. Up to this point, everything was recorded to 2 inch tape.
released October 23, 2012
Produced by Secret mountain
Re-Mastered By Insight
>>REMIX IN PROGRESS :-)
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