There is something charming about Mt. Meru's no fuss, no muss, straightforward folk pop sound. It's not hard to believe that this is a band with deep roots that stretch all up and down the west coast. This group originally went by another name and it seems is now wiping the slate clean and coming out fresh with a self-titled album Mt. Meru. Mt. Meru features twelve tracks that feature various blends of Americana, folk, pop and indie. It's a clean cut sound that for me evoked sunshine, introspection and nostalgia.
The vocals and lyrics were a big pull. While the music is very straightforward, the words are pretty sophisticated in terms of narrative and metaphor use. If you isolate the words, they have a distinct poetic quality to them. The words are also delivered with incredible vocal performances. The vocals fall heavily under a more modern, indie styling, which I think is a huge asset for the album. The vocalist range is also pretty impressive and just a downright delight to listen to.
Musically this album is very strong. Songs like "In Keeping With The Times" or "The Paradox" managed to find that sweet spot between folksy and modern which complemented those vocals beautifully. The issue came right out of the gate. At the start of the album, songs like "The Open Road" I feel needed a little more diversity in terms of treatment to the instruments to punch it up and out of the box. As the album moved forward, this issue quickly disappeared and I was pretty spellbound. There are so many songs out of the twelve tracks that I wanted to hear again.
This album was a labor of DIY, in home love and it was well executed. If you told me this was a pro studio album, I would easily believe it. The mixing is incredibly tight and gives the music such a clean, professional edge. On production alone I think this group can really go places. Every part of the process was done by their hands. The core of their process can be credited to Logic X Pro and I think this one of those DIY albums that offers a free advertisement of what artists can do with a little elbow grease.
I feel like Mt. Meru has a timeless quality tucked into their sound and I think that will be a big part of what sustains them. I get the sense this group is battle tested and is ready for the big show. You'll get bang for your buck with this album. I'm gonna ahead and stamp a big fat "buy it" on this one.
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