Artist: Father Mountain
Album: Apartment Living
Release date: November 10, 2017
Nashville-based alternative indie rock band Father Mountain’s new full length album, Apartment Living, feels like driving to a Friendsgiving dinner under grey skies with a casserole dish balanced on the seat next to you, wondering how you got old enough to be celebrating your own holidays but also grateful for and content with where you're at.
Father Mountain’s sound fluctuates from classically pop punk to alternative/indie, with serious Death Cab for Cutie vibes in a way that is fresh and modern and original rather than imitation. There's a certain hollowness at times, especially when the vocals aren’t present -- not emptiness, but an intentional space for the listener to engage with the songs, to build anticipation and connect in a truly emotional experience to the music.
Lyrically, Apartment Living is cozy and relatable and a little bit sad, and often just particular enough to stand out and be memorable to the listener. The motif of the “grey apartment building” that’s repeated throughout the songs adds to the feeling of familiarity as well, and is a smart choice to connect the tracks enough to make them feel part of the same general universe without having it be a full-fledged concept album.
One of the songs that best highlights the band’s propensity for catchy, clever lyrics is “Sobriety,” where the vocals weave an intricate yet still understated mental space and relationship:
“When you finally taste the blood that’s in my mouth / from the tongue that I’ve been burrowing down / and I guess it’s time for you to wear the crown / 'cause it’s far too heavy and I don’t want it now … It’s been 16 minutes since I left your place / confusing your voice for the look on your face / said I’ll love you forever but loved you in haste / I’m leaving this town and leaving this state … That’s all right / I gave sobriety up for lent and the shame that came with it / you’re surprised to find sin doesn’t exist the way you thought it did”
Many of the lyrics also strike a great balance of accountability and self-blame, with lines like “I’m not sure I’m ready to mess up a second time” (“Grey”).
Apartment Living is an impressive release, with mature and thoughtful instrumentals, strong vocals, and meaningful lyrics that promise an exciting future career for Father Mountain.