Hepburn and Winter
As someone relatively recently introduced to Mount Eerie, it’s hard not to hear that sort of quality in the music of Hepburn and Winter, that big energy and openness to explore whatever comes their way sonically. Vocalists/instrumentalists Will Simpson and Maggi Winter share lead responsibilities throughout the album, making for a clear dynamic flow, and one that benefits the overall run time. There are certainly indie pop qualities here, the sort of thing that pays homage to bands like Low, Spoon, or The Frames, but that carries a certain whimsy that’s hard to pin down. If anything, the Mount Eerie reference is less for any specific aspect of their sound, and more about the ephemeral nature of such; they do a lot in a short amount of time, but it always makes sense. It’s that liminal space that they occupy so well, the world between any one particular sound, lending a timeless quality to their efforts. This is the sort of thing that might transcend generations, that people of all ages can get behind, which is no small feat; it’s difficult to have mass appeal, while remaining artistically adventurous.
Where a track like Hyper-Masculinity, Bro might feature bombastic guitar and bass work, songs like Through the Ceiling serve as chill contemplative moments, folk songs that play to the strength of the lead duos dulcet harmonies. A song like Other People, offers a great offer view of the project, stripped down, but full of energy and a strong dynamic. Perhaps their greatest allure is in these quieter moments, the instances that allow the melody to breath, for playful musical additions, like a simple piano line, to bear fruit. Still songs like The Twin Peaks or Horizon have a darkly alt-country vibe, melancholic and ruminative, giving in to bleakness and turning away from the light that otherwise shines through each track.
I’d be hard pressed to say why this isn’t or shouldn’t enjoy a wider acclaim. Weird Ideas is superlatively made and easy to listen to, but without ever coming off as cloying or trite, even in the most pop friendly moments on the album. It’s a fool’s game to assume intent or motivation, but it’s easy to hear in this a sincerity that is impossible to identify without a close listen, an honest and earnest approach to song writing that revels as much in the song as the process. There is a lo-fi joy here found on songs like Neon Nightmare or album closer Aliens, just exuberant songs that care not for coming off as slick, trading that in for the kind of earnest communication that makes for a great and memorable affair. This is a solid record that has a lot of great ideas executed wonderfully.
Listen below and see what I’m on about.