Review by Lindsey Craun.
Music has an inevitable and overwhelming power over our minds. There aren’t many things out there that are capable of provoking thoughts and altering moods in the same way that music can. Metal Mountains’ newest album, Golden Trees, drags you into the type of self-reflecting, meditative mood that can be awesome every once in a while, but far too heavy for the daily grind. Helen Rush, Pat Gubler and Samara Lubelski’s work, for me, evoked a very thoughtful and almost brooding state that I’m not sure I really enjoyed. Whether or not I was simply suffering through a case of the Sunday blues I can’t tell, but either way I can still appreciate the beauty found in Golden Trees.
The album, described as minimalist psych-pop, is composed of seven tracks (many as long as five minutes), though they each blend together into one stream of sound. The point at which each song comes to an end and drifts into the next is unclear because the same acoustic softness is woven through each transition. Violin, guitar, and Helen Rush’s gentle lyrics create an intimate feel to the first song, “Flickers within/without.” The type of restraint found in the first track continues throughout the album, everything very quiet. Many times you’ll find a purely instrumental break and after a while even the melodies begin to resemble each other.
Once three or four songs in, I found that my ominous mood had transformed into what felt like a daze. Though they both demonstrate the same characteristics that have come to identify the album as a whole, one aspect found in “Orange/Yellow” and “Structures in the Sun” captured my attention. Guitarist Pat Gubler somehow manages to create otherworldly sounds that surprisingly set these apart from the rest. Though Golden Trees is admittedly beautiful in an intensely pensive sort of way, I can’t help but find myself feeling as if I’d listened to one giant song intent on sending me into a spiral of introspection-induced depression.
Stream “Structures In The Sun” off Golden Trees here: