A wholesome and lush-feeling psychedelia permeates the folk atmosphere of Brooklyn trio Metal Mountains’ debut album, Golden Trees. It’s a laid back offering, subtle and sweet in equal proportion, and for a record with so much purported minimalism at play, it never sounds empty or somehow lacking. It doesn’t do too much, but neither are the three members of the band sitting out the seven component tracks. Rather, they make a point to interweave guitar, bass and violin with the comforting vocals of Helen Rush (ex-Tower Recordings), resulting in a slow-drifting tapestry of sound.
Songs like the memorable “Turn To The East” make the most of the elements Rush, fellow guitarist Pat Gubler and bassist/violinist Samara Lubelski have to offer, and Golden Trees even has a few moments that could genuinely be considered upbeat, though as it’s mostly without percussion (there’s some xylophone on halfway cut “Flickers Within/Without”), there’s less for an impatient listener to grasp on to. For what it’s worth, in my time with Metal Mountains, this has proved an asset rather than a hindrance, the hypnotic effects of Golden Trees making it all the more endearing. It’s a record you could easily lose yourself in, starting on “Structures In The Sun” and coming out on the other end of “Prisms” feeling better without quite knowing why.
In these gray days of winter, Metal Mountains does well to remind that sunshine does exist somewhere, sometime, ever. If you find yourself in need of some tonal warmth, they’ve got a blanket at the ready.