Ree Backus is a lifelong singer-songwriter from Black Forest, Colorado. But this hasn’t always been the case. It has been an uphill battle to get where she is today. With many roadblocks that include an oppressive home life, it wasn’t until 2016 when she turned 32 and had just had her third kid that she was finally able to break away from a community that was holding her back. She decided to openly pursue music, taking strides to play at open mics and make a record.
And Climb This Mountain is a product of Backus’ persistence. The singer-songwriter pens songs from her personal experience. Inspired by events in her life, her songs speak about the human experience in the confessional singer-songwriter vein. With a unique singer-songwriter sensibility, Backus wears her heart on her sleeve on these heartfelt and warm acoustic tracks.
Climb This Mountain opens with “Nothing But To Love” that starts off to some numerating on the acoustic guitar. The vocals are honest and warm with a honeyed approach. This is a happening acoustic song. The sounds of bells chime in and out of this track. The song has a sparse, stripped down feel. On this upbeat and catchy track, Backus sings, “Nobody tells you how painful rebellion would be/ They only sell you sweetness of destiny…Nobody tells youo how mournful love will be/ They only sell you paperback poetry.”
The title-track starts off with the acoustic guitar backed by a drumming backbeat. Backus sings, “See that mountain I’m going to climb it/ Baby will you come along/ Will you stay and wonder how high it is/ What will you need at the top/ And I know you are afraid to go/ You and I both know/ We’re better off together.” This song has a happening folk acoustic sound.
On “Remember You Happy,” the mandolin sounds off with a melodious tune. The vocals sound crystalline and true. The acoustic guitar also joins in. Reminiscing about better times, she sings, “I choose to remember you happy/ I choose to remember you smiling/ I love you and I'll remember you happy.” This is a dynamic ballad with a real resonating quality. The track contains a lulling lullaby feel with a soft and soothing vibe. This is a relaxing acoustic track.
Toward “What Is Alive,” the warm cadences of the mandolin and acoustic guitar mingle intermittently on this track. The percussions provide a more upbeat pulse. This a sweetly rendered acoustic song with reverberating oohs following through on the chorus. About living life to the fullest and living life the way she wants to, Backus sings, “I always wanted to climb a tree/ Bravery always escaped me/ But I’ll be the first one to paint a dream/ Finally to live in what’s alive.”
“Right For You” starts off to soft strumming on the acoustic guitar. This is a simply rendered track. The sparse instrumentation with simply the lone sound of the acoustic guitar accompanying the vocals is like a breath of fresh air. There pervades a soothing acoustic melody with a great relaxing vibe.
The closer, “The Light Between Us” opens with the cadences of the acoustic guitar supporting the vocals. With gossamer poetic details Backus paints a delicate picture: “The sun is setting mountain glows and I hold you in my arms And all the heartache of today melts away in the light between us.” The song contains some stellar lilting melodies that like the previous tracks also elicit a lullaby-like feel.
Through all trials and tribulations, Backus has made this record as proof of the resilience of the human spirit. Like on the title-track, “Climb This Mountain,” with every ‘mountain’ that she has come to in life, there hasn’t been one where she hasn’t been able to surmount. This EP offers a beacon of hope for those who need to know someone like them has made it to the other side.
A welcoming change of pace from your regular Top 40 fare out there, Backus has definitely fashioned an accessible record with relatable storytelling in the confessional vein and harmonious melodies on Climb This Mountain.
Navigating between dream and reverie, for the most part, the majority of the songs have a lullaby-like feel. Dream-like, these tracks have a soft lilt to them that makes them haunting. After a long journey, these groups of acoustic songs feel just like coming home after a long time of being away. A real sense of arriving and comfort is eluded from these startling set of songs. Nostalgic and heartwarming, these tracks will have you reminiscing of better times. Be sure you have a listen today!
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