Boomkat Product Review:
Haunted Mountain from Texas-bred singer/songwriter and Big Thief guitarist Buck Meek.
"Following his beloved 2021 album, Two Saviors, Haunted Mountain marks Meek’s third solo album. Haunted Mountain is about love and… something other. Something bigger than love, something that doesn’t challenge love exactly but stands in contrast to it. A soulfulness, or a soul-seeking fullness. Meek says that loves songs are the hardest write. “Not break-up songs, but an actual love song written in earnest? That is taboo now,” he says. “Sometimes it can feel like all the great love songs have already been written.”
Lead single ‘Haunted Mountain’ is anchored by sweet lyrics penned by Meek and Jolie Holland, who is also from Texas and shares co-writing credits on five of Haunted Mountain’s 11 songs. The first two verses and chorus of ‘Haunted Mountain’ were written by Holland as a love song to Mount Shasta in northern California, with the final verse written by Meek, together seeking reciprocity with nature. On Haunted Mountain, love often assumes a natural form – crystal ball dew-drops, green rivers and grasses, tears bottled. Sometimes it becomes artificial – mood rings, earrings, a pair of jeans, motorcycles and spacecraft. Sometimes cosmic. Love is a consciousness here, interacting with the lovers, greeting them, watching them sometimes, becoming them sometimes. It extends beyond romance, examining the inexhaustible bond between mother and sun, and asks – is love a form of magic?
Since Buck’s self-titled full-length album, his band has remained consistent – Adam Brisbin (guitar), Austin Vaughn (drums), and Mat Davidson (pedal steel, bass on Buck Meek and Two Saviors). In the year or so leading up to recording Haunted Mountain, they were joined by Ken Woodward (bass) as well as Meek’s brother, Dylan, who joined them for the session on piano and synths. Produced by the band’s own Davidson, Haunted Mountain was recorded and mixed in two weeks by Adrian Olsen, who also performed the sound manipulation via modular synthesizer that can be heard throughout the album."