After nearly four years as a band, this week sees the release of the debut full-length from Baltimore six-piece Secret Mountains. The entire album can be streamed below. Rainer is a dynamic seven-track collection of carefully crafted dream-pop, informed by the group’s collective interests in psychedelia, soul, pop, and noise. Spacious and full of subtleties, the record has been in the works for nearly two years, following a string of singles and two EPs, 2009’s Kaddish and 2010’s Rejoice .
“Lots of older ideas and bits of songs were revisited and reworked to the versions that are now on the record,” says guitarist Jeffrey Silverstein. “Other songs came together naturally, frequently starting with a repeated sound, phrase, or melody, and kind of pummeled into our brains until we were ready to move to the next idea.”
The most gorgeous track here is “High Horse”, a slow-building, enveloping song full of highs and lows, showcasing singer Kelly Laughlin’s mesmerizing vox. It was first recorded via Weathervane Music’s Shaking Through series. (Watch that video below, too.) “Golden Blue” is an explosive guitar- and bass-driven psych-rock track; “Coasting” is more ethereal, backed by primitive percussion.
Appropriately, Rainer is out via local label Friends Records, who have released music by some of Baltimore’s most interesting artists: Soft Cat, Future Islands, Moss Of Aura, Co La, Height With Friends, Lands And Peoples, and more.
“There is definitely a ton of crossover amongst projects/bands in Baltimore, which is always really amazing to witness,” said Silverstein. “The longer you are part of it, the more you realize how powerful it is. It’s what can be attributed to us feeling comfortable and supported to create the music that we wanted to make. Baltimore has been kind to us in a million ways.”
For those on the East Coast, the band celebrates the record with two release shows: one in Baltimore on Thursday at the Bell Foundry, and a second on Saturday March 2 at Cameo Gallery in Brooklyn with Andrew Cedermark.
Rainer is out February 26 via Friends Records.