Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Jakob Battick & Friends - Heavy The Mountains, Heavy Are The Seas (self released, 2010)

Jakob Battick - Nine Brothers & The Wolf

Jakob Battick (and friends), the creator of that dusty autumnal EP Hiding In The Orchard made of recycled bingo cards, is back with another piece of folky amazingness. Although instead of making another charming record, he tore a hole in the gray sky and twisted his folk roots into some unsettling black monster.

Heavy The Mountains, Heavy Are The Seas starts out normally enough with "Always Returning / Never Returning," a nice slow moving acoustic number. But that track quickly devolves into a screaming epic of soul wrenching, howling at the moon type stuff. Loud, abrasive, and nothing like what I was expecting.

The next 3 songs follow suit. Creeping through midnight meadows, with lilting guitars and deep throated vocals echoing in damp attics. There's lots of loud-quiet-loud moments, spun around in a Battick-afied whirlwind of emotion, even some horns thrown in to complete the massive kitchen sink crescendo. And the final track, "A Silent Prayer," is where the magic happens. Grand as grand can be, crushingly beautiful, intense passion pouring out of Jakob. Absolutely amazing.

This isn't your average folk record guys. I'm not even sure it should be classified as such. It is, however, damn fine, regardless of labels. Jakob Battick has made another truly great fucking record. And, thankfully, I believe a full length is in the works.

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