A week ago avante-pop band Almanac Mountain gave the world a taste of a new album to come when it premiered the single ‘Kids Playing Outside’. A mind-bending fusion of 80s pop, indie pop and psychedelic pop, it’s not your run-of-the-mill musical composition. But it’s extremely catchy and will take any consenting adult on a welcome journey back to their childhood. It will also have them wondering how they let the petty complexities and conflicts of this life efface that precious freedom and innocence. Like Wake The Deaf, which premiered Kids Playing Outside not long ago said, the song is reminiscent of a “disco king trapped within the shell of a suburban nine year-old”.
The single is drawn from Almanac Mountain’s album ‘Cryptoseismology’ which comes out October 21. But before we get into the project, more about the artists, or should we say, artist. The driving force behind this band is a lifelong student of life and music who hails from the New Hampshire Seacoast and answers to the name Chris Cote. He finds endless fascination on the mundane realities of life and focuses his creative energies on fleshing them out in largely uncomplicated lyrics. He then creates an unlikely blend of classical music and pop to help convey the truths he’s learnt to music lovers. Aiding him in these efforts is his buddy Brian James who not only masters Cote’s music, but also plays instrumental parts in it. However, when Cote needs to take his music on the road, Almanac Mountain morphs into a fully-fledged band.
Back to that second, soon-to-be-released Almanac Mountain LP. The 11 songs contained in the album represent worlds Cote imagined and escaped to during one of worst winters New England has ever experienced. Surrounded by an unrelenting chill and inches of thick snow, Cote let his mind wander. But the solitude and introspection enforced by the hostile weather permeate the music. The snail-paced ‘Lilac’, in which Cote tries to convince a girl who left him to take him back and end his heartache, is a prime example of this. But there are undertones of hope in the wobbling synth and comforting keyboard chords. The album closes with the soulful, even slower-paced ‘Harborside’, a melancholic number shrouded in undulating guitar riffs, moaning strings and ponderous drums. By the time Cote’s voice harmonizes with itself like a dreamy choir from the ABBA era, you might have already drifted off to your cloud nine, or slumber land.
Feel free to unravel the rest of Cryptoseismology at your own pace when it comes out on October 21.
Miami Based, Internationally Known