Mount Pressmore are an indie jazz rock band formed in Austin in 2011, and they have just recorded their debut album, Enjoy. As the son of 14-time Grammy-winning composer Robert Shaw, lead singer Thomas Shaw has grown up around music all his life. His intent was to make a record with a lot of attention put on the composition. Inspired by a quote from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, Shaw also wanted the album to contain only love songs and “songs of good life.”
The group has a style similar to The Talking Heads, with a bouncy beat in the background and lyrics that contain metaphors that are out of the ordinary. On the first single, “Trampoline,” Shaw sings the innuendo, “I’m your trampoline/Bounce high and free,” and on “Vice-Presidential Material,” he complains that he is “stuck in a leaky sweater.” Shaw makes sure to enunciate every word, and stresses important syllables. On the closer, “Dakota,” the band sounds more rock than jazz, and it includes especially precise keyboard and guitar intros. As the only female voice on the album, Erin Ivey’s backing vocals are delivered high and floaty, creating a nice contrast against Shaw’s masculine sound.
Enjoy is a reputable debut, created by someone who knows how to carefully arrange tracks, and Mount Pressmore have the potential to go far. The record has an ideal amount of technicality and accessibility.
In A Word: Precise