Have all the love songs already been written? Are we at a point in time where we can’t show our emotions without referencing back to things that have been written in the past? If it’s up to Buck Meek, we haven’t. The new album, Haunted Mountain out Friday August 25th via 4AD, by the Big Thief guitarist and singer/songwriter is crafted with such an exceptional amount of care that it will make you feel like all the best love songs are yet to come. Written in the mountains of Portugal, the Swiss Alps and the Santa Monica ranges that Meek calls home, Haunted Mountain is about something bigger than love, something that doesn’t challenge love but is in contrast to it. A soulfulness, a soul seeking fulfillment and it’s beautiful.
The album kicks off with “Mood Ring” and it is a mood. All cacophonous ringing underneath a driving beat highlighting Meek’s bright and chiming vocal melodies. It’s a wild and engaging start to to the journey of the record. It all leads in to the albums namesake. “Haunted Mountain” is a crisp and elegant song populated with lap steel and gorgeous harmonies. A perfect blend of country twang and forward leaning songwriting that is few and far between these days within the genre, made compete by an absolutely ripping guitar solo. On the album highlight “Secret Side” Meek and his songwriting partner Jolie Holland, another Texan native, capture the more contemplative side of what love is. When they sing, “I’ll never know, I’ll never know, the secret life inside of you”, it’s beautiful and an un judgemental way of looking at modern relationships.
The entire endeavour is an absolute treat from here on out. It encapsulates the vibe of Meek’s day job with Big Thief, in terms of that band’s adventurousness, while pushing the art form further. A chiming and wonderful affair. Beautiful musicianship punctuated by outstanding guitar work and an effortlessness that is as easy on the ears as it is challenging. It’s a lovely compliment to the work that he has produced with his other band and one that is something that is exciting to know we can hear more of moving forward. All the love songs haven’t been written, there’s so much more waiting for us to discover and it seems like, if anyone, Buck Meek is all over it. As he sings on the track “Where You Are Coming From”, “I can say anything and you don’t judge me” and it’s one of those things that seems simple enough but will make all the difference in the world.
Pre-order Haunted Mountain by Buck Meek HERE
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