Music

Meadow Mountain Produce Mysticizing, Progressive Bluegrass with "Radio Waves" (premiere)

Photo: Grace Clark / Courtesy of the Press House PR

Gearing up for a self-titled debut produced by the Infamous Stringdusters' Chris Pandolfi, Meadow Mountain showcases their newgrass talents in the mystifying cool of "Radio Waves".

Meadow Mountain perhaps first turned the head of Infamous Stringduster Chris Pandolfi upon winning the 2017 RockyGrass band contest in Lyons, Colorado. Almost immediately thereafter, the five-piece string band signed to the Stringdusters' Tape Time, which is releasing their self-titled debut album come 2 November. While Meadow Mountain might best be recognized as a bluegrass outfit, the band's Summers Baker (guitar), Jack Dunlevie (mandolin), Ian Parker (violin/ viola), George Guthrie (banjo), and Wilson Luallen (bass) are not ones to shy away from pushing past their traditional stylings to craft something innovative and hard-to-define, either. As much is exhibited through the release of their latest single, "Radio Waves", which Meadow Mountain is premiering via PopMatters.

Understated production meets a melange of offbeat choices in the song's driving arrangement that may just cut it as one of the most progressive instances of newgrass in recent times. Featuring a 9/8 rhythm, "Radio Waves" may be difficult to define betwixt its bevy of genre influences, but easy to get into with its idiosyncratic groove.

Baker tells PopMatters, "I wrote this song over a period of six to eight months. It started with a musical idea that I couldn't get out of my head - a driving, yet subdued picking pattern in an unusual time signature. I spent months getting it under my fingers before I even started writing the words. From there, I kept hitting roadblocks. I felt that I had struck something worth pursuing, so I decided to go about it patiently. Instead of writing lyrics every day, I stepped back and wrote "around" the song. I wrote poems, short stories, and even other songs as I fleshed it out. Months of scrapping lyrics, singing along to a metronome, and writing landed me with a narrower, more focused vision. In the end, thousands of words all condensed into four lines that I felt best portray what it means to me to be isolated, quiet, and dark."

Pandolfi says, '"Radio Waves' is a unique and beautiful song that showcases Meadow Mountain's wide-ranging songwriting chops. While many will consider these guys primarily a bluegrass band, they know how to take the tones and styles of the bluegrass instruments out of context to create something very original. This song may be hard to categorize, but it should catch a lot of people's attention."

Music


Books


Film


Television


Recent
Reading Pandemics

Colonial Pandemics and Indigenous Futurism in Louise Erdrich and Gerald Vizenor

From a non-Native perspective, COVID-19 may be experienced as an unexpected and unprecedented catastrophe. Yet from a Native perspective, this current catastrophe links to a longer history that is synonymous with European colonization.

Film

The 10 Best Films of Sir Alan Parker

Here are 10 reasons to mourn the passing of one of England's most interesting directors, Sir Alan Parker.

Music

July Talk Transform on 'Pray for It'

On Pray for It, Canadian alt-poppers July Talk show they understand the complex dualities that make up our lives.

Music

With 'Articulation' Rival Consoles Goes Back to the Drawing Board

London producer Rival Consoles uses unorthodox approaches on his latest record, Articulation, resulting in a stunning, beautiful collection.

Film

Paranoia Goes Viral in 'She Dies Tomorrow'

Amy Seimetz's thriller, She Dies Tomorrow, is visually dazzling and pulsating with menace -- until the color fades.

Music

MetalMatters: July 2020 - Back on Track

In a busy and exciting month for metal, Boris arrive in rejuvenated fashion, Imperial Triumphant continue to impress with their forward-thinking black metal, and death metal masters Defeated Sanity and Lantern return with a vengeance.

Books

Isabel Wilkerson's 'Caste' Reveals the Other Kind of American Exceptionalism

By comparing the American race-based class system to that of India and Nazi Germany, Isabel Wilkerson makes us see a familiar evil in a different light with her latest work, Caste.

Film

Anna Kerrigan Prioritizes Substance Over Style in 'Cowboys'

Anna Kerrigan talks with PopMatters about her latest film, Cowboys, which deviates from the common "issues style" approach to LGBTQ characters.

Music

John Fusco and the X-Road Riders Get Funky with "It Takes a Man" (premiere + interview)

Screenwriter and musician John Fusco pens a soulful anti-street fighting man song, "It Takes a Man". "As a trained fighter, one of the greatest lessons I have ever learned is to walk away from a fight without letting ego get the best of you."

Books

'Run-Out Groove' Shows the Dark Side of Capitol Records

Music promoter Dave Morrell's memoir, Run Out Groove, recalls the underbelly of the mainstream music industry.

Film

It's a Helluva of a World in Alain Corneau's 'Série Noire'

Alain Corneau's Série Noire is like a documentary of squalid desperation, albeit a slightly heightened and sardonic one.

Music

The 15 Best Americana Albums of 2015

From the old guard reaffirming its status to upstarts asserting their prowess, personal tales voiced by true artists connected on an emotional level in the best Americana music of 2015.

Music

Dizzy's Katie Munshaw Keeps Home Fires Burning with 'The Sun and Her Scorch'

In a world turned upside down, it might be the perfect time to take a new album spin with Canadian dream-pop band Dizzy and lead singer-songwriter Katie Munshaw, who supplies enough emotional electricity to jump-start a broken heart.

Music

Nkem Njoku and Ozzobia Brothers Bring Summery Highlife to 'Ozobia Special'

Summery synths bring highlife of the 1980s on a reissue of Nkem Njoku and Ozzobia Brothers' innovative Ozobia Special.

Music

'The Upward Spiral' Is Nicolas Bougaïeff's Layered and Unique Approach to Techno

On his debut album for Mute, Berlin-based producer Nicolas Bougaïeff applies meticulous care and a deft, trained ear to each track, and the results are marvelous.

Music

How BTS Always Leave You Wanting More

K-pop boy band BTS are masterful at creating a separation between their public personas and their private lives. This mythology leaves a void that fans willingly fill.

Music

The Psychedelic Furs' 'Made of Rain' Is Their First Album in Nearly 30 Years

The first album in three decades from the Psychedelic Furs beats expectations just one track in with "The Boy That Invented Rock and Roll".

Music

Fontaines D.C. Abandon the Familiar on 'A Hero's Death'

Fontaines D.C.'s A Hero's Death is the follow-up to the acclaimed Dogrel, and it features some of their best work -- alongside some of their most generic.

Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews

Features
Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.