These are the real pictures, beaming through some imaginary desert radio you yearn to see, but can’t, even though you drop synthetics to try. If you see them, you’ll find Stuart Thomas’s Mountain Range. I met him like everyone I meet lately, through Soundcloud. The first time I heard Mountain Range I stopped everything I was doing and just let it fade me out, and then I yelled “Holly, you have to hear this!” We both sat still in appreciation for him.
On his first EP, A Heart Upon, there’s nothing but beauty, and these amazingly liquid silhouettes, running rapid through the arms of mother nature. The way in which the sounds are arranged deliver a great sense of ease. Thomas feels what he’s doing, and he’s taking us to some unforgettable places in the process. Nothing could be more true than the flying painted glass on “Evelyn(e).” A remarkably produced track that will have you lost in the hazy acres for days, “when in Rome” fits here I think.
I have never written about music without sounding like a total cheese ball. This album, this artist, make me feel like the first time I fell in love, and I don’t care to express that to you. Laugh for a second, then remember what that feels like. The warm feeling in your stomach, and the relief when you see them in the hall. The shy pattern you get into b/c your afraid to be yourself. And the shield that protects you from all the fake ass hoops people put us through. Society is a monster, if not entirely a piece of shit. Mountain Range’s sound gives me hope, and not the empty kind. The one that makes it easier to be “upside down in the void.”
Lets take the opening track “With Skates.” You think you’re on some slow motion escapade, through the flutters of rainbows and man-made interruptions you can’t avoid, i.e. telephone poles shadowing your favorite city parks.
The ride breaks off, and you get into this whole new realm just after the 4 minute mark. It’s as if Thomas hits hyperactive and says out loud to the trees “we want more, and you know how to give it to us.” There are hints of Aphex Twin if you shed the creepy element of course, and like any good music maker in this niche, you hear some Boards Of Canada. But Mountain Range is his own entity. And there’s endless proof on his giant statement of a first album.
The year is early, but this is on the top of my list for best albums thus far. Head over to his Bandcamp page and hook him up with a few coins.
~ Ryan Boos