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Boomkat Product Review:
Mountain Man are an all-girl trio, formed at college in the small town of Bennington, Vermont. These ladies specialise in acappella style songwriting, deeply embedded in the traditions of American folk and Appalachian music, only occasionally calling upon the use of an acoustic guitar for a little accompaniment and guidance. Only underlining the earthy, feel-good vibes of the project, the Bella Union press release says of the band: "They are mutually moved to sing by their love for people, and for trees, birds and mountains, the ocean, the night, the moon, and being a woman." Indeed. But set aside any cynicism: this really is a The recording style very much contributes to the intimate, communal feel of the music, capturing the three voices singing in a room together without any (apparent) multitracking. Cast in a slight but warming reverb, pieces like 'Animal Tracks' and the almost hymnal 'Mouthwings' hit with a rare emotive clarity, and while Mountain Man's music tends to follow a vehemently folksy thread (serving up beautiful choral melodies on the likes of 'Honeybee', 'How'm I Doin' and the guitar-supported 'Dog Song' to name but three further highlights), equally powerful is 'Babylon', a very ecclesiastical sounding piece that crops up late on in the album, having a close run-in with Gregorian chant, or perhaps the sort of harmonies The Hilliard Ensemble would revel in. Made The Harbour is an inexhaustibly lovely record, and despite the restrictions imposed upon the instrumental vocabulary and general sonic range of the record there's a genuine depth and variety in these performances.