New Mountain is a project from LA for singer/songwriter Blake Runyon. His recent six-song EP entitled Dark Matters is an adventurous album that toys with different styles and genres. He was able to snag Christian James Hand (drums/programming) along with Alexa Melo (guitar/backing vocals) to add some flavor to the mix. The EP is enjoying to listen to overall but I thought there were some songs and styles that played out better than others.
The first track “Before we Began” is a decent start. I especially felt the chorus was effective. It’s instantly catchy and serves you up a memorable vocal melody. Runyon sings “Why's it over before we begin? Time will change me like a friend / All these things I thought I knew... “ The second track “The Sound is Everything” has an ‘80s rock vibe. It wasn’t the strongest track on the EP by a long shot although it had some impressive lead guitar.
The highlight of the EP was “Faces on a Clown (ft. Annie Woodward)”. The vocal work by Annie Woodward is excellent. She has a completely unique and sounds great when it’s combined with Runyon. On top of that the music is top notch especially during the first half of the song where you can clearly you the string work.
“Tame Yourself” sounds like a R&B style pop song. The beat hits heavy and Runyon sings in a higher octave, which produces a soulful vocal style. I also noticed the mix itself sounded especially good on this track. “Dark Matters” is a success on a number of levels. The song is thematic and features sharp vocal parts that feel rigid yet interesting. It’s a bit unusual sounding but in a good way
It's a bit hard to know how I feel about this album since it is so scattered. It’s almost best to treat it as a bunch of singles rather than an album with a beginning and end. I'll say this, Runyon does have more strengths than weaknesses.
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