[sic] Magazine

Mountain Man – Made The Harbor

Mountain Man have a transient curio on their slender hands, and, following the campfire folk of First Aid Kit as a beacon, they’ve come out of the woods to air it. Their traditional American folk effortlessly resurrects yesteryear with zero pomp, ceremony or pretence. Made The Harbor evocatively paints a picture – their Mountain Man is relaxing on his isolated porch, listening to a light breeze through the rustling bluegrass, reflecting all the while upon a hard-worked day down in the cottonfields.

Hot on the heels of last year’s well-received, self-released and eponymous debut, this Vermont-based, all-girl trio again capture the barely-there atmospherics of acts like Tiny Vipers , perhaps as fronted by some sepia-toned, Prohibition-era Marissa Nadler . The achingly familiar and gently drifting “Sewee Sewee” and “Soft Skin” are most strongly in this vein and are particularly affecting and beautiful as a result.

The rich vocal harmonies on offer are largely a cappella and sometimes religious in sound and lyrics (“Babylon”). Coming with the sparsest of acoustic accompaniment, the girls’ thirteen wispy tracks are intangible, steeped in history rather than bourbon and completely lost in time. Their dog-eared tales – as relevant today as then – are seemingly carried in and out of earshot on fleeting breaths of melody.

Made The Harbor drips in reference to the “mighty Mississippi” and, in particular, “How’m I Doin” rings with timeworn blues and gospel tints that convey a not-so-long lost, deep South ambience. Mountain Man’s bucolic collection of olde worlde songs are delivered with contemporary affection, and their combined efforts duly seem as wise, ever-present and old as the hills from whence their influences came.

Advised downloads: “Sewee Sewee” and “Soft Skin”.

Made The Harbour is released June 14th 2010 on Bella Union in the UK, Spunk in Australia and on June 20th 2010 on Partisan in the US.