Album Review: Mountain Man – Magic Ship

Autumn descends upon us; the air is crisp, the days are getting shorter, and there’s nothing more perfect than Mountain Man’s Magic Ship to welcome the new season in with open arms.

Having teased us recently with three tracks off their new album (Stella, Rang Tang Ring Toon and Window), their first record release in eight years is finally here, and brings to us an assemblage of pure, flawless harmonies, taking us on a whimsical, retrospective journey. Their style, consisting mostly of traditional folk and A Capella, is minimal yet compelling with plenty of space to breathe, demonstrating that less is definitely more. With nothing more than an acoustic guitar in some of the tracks and three part harmonies that marry together into a blissful blend, their raw talent shines through like sun rays through the crack of your curtains in the morning. Fans of their previous album Made In The Harbour will be pleased to learn that they have retained their unpolished yet playful approach to recording, which yields an honest, organic listening experience.

The album opens with the short, but sweet Window, which sets the tone for what Is to come. Some of the songs on Magic Ship such as Boat are reminiscent of traditional sea shanties but with a contemporary spin, many of which consist of aqueous connotations, which undoubtedly transports you onto a little boat, gently rocking in the waves, floating through sunsets and into the full moon’s aurora.

Stella takes us back to our childhood and oozes innocence and playfulness, whilst Whale Song’s beautifully haunting melodies and lyrics paint a sad image of loneliness, and conjures up an image of the full moon’s reflection on the water, the backing vocals representing the lulling waves. The album is wrapped up by the lovely track Guilt, which is equally as short as the opening track; a well-suited ending to the album.

Overall, this record’s simplicity doesn’t limit its capability to evoke emotion from its listeners; in fact, its simplicity accentuates the beauty of the vocals and their harmonies, the main spectacle, which is enough to give you goosebumps alone. Well worth the wait!

Chi Limpiroj