Hailing from Vancouver, Heard in the Mountains is a relatively new band that formed in 2011 but they sound like they have been at this for quite some time. On their latest effort entitled Will To Well we are greeted with four songs that explode with emotion, are technically advanced yet accessible for the average listener and don't rest on any laurels. The songs themselves are diverse as they fit in a whole lot of complexity within their three - five minute ranges. Not unlike other contemporaries like Grizzly Bear and Local Natives they have a knack for attenuating unique rhythms and chord structures that add to the visceral experience of the songs.
The album starts off incredibly strong with “Sills.” As a somewhat hypnotic, reverb laced piano melody is played we are soothed by the calming, almost tranquil vocals of the lead singer. As the piano becomes more intense and the cymbals are hit harder we finally arrive at the moment of impact. The whole band plays in conjunction as arpeggiated synths swirl and distorted guitars make their presence known. With almost no forewarning we return to the stillness of piano and vocals. The vocals reinforce the ambience as the line “I don’t deserve your grace” is delivered in a heartfelt almost apologetic manner. “Raccoon Hands” crawling guitar scales and inventive drum work start the song off before delving into a powerful chorus. The song rocks out pretty hard at the end — just fine by me. “Major Change” displays their ability to not only go from soft to loud well but also the places in between. There are a lot of changes in the song that happen quickly. One moment we are treated with a sparse ambience and the singer’s falsetto and before you know it you are listening to a grand section with the band in full force that can barely contain all the frequencies coming out of your speaker.
We close the album with the serene “In The Meadow’ which contains intricate guitar picking on electric, reverb laced guitar. The song picks up as it progresses evoking shades of post-rock not unlike that of Explosions in the Sky. This song has more in common with some plays rather than a standard song. There are multiple parts that the band chooses not to revisit instead they are like acts which progress the story. It ends powerfully with crashing drums and soaring guitars.I for one after listening to this brief album am anxiously anticipating what is in store next for these guys.
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