Speck Mountain

If Speck Mountain’s first two albums sound like they were recorded underwater, their third studio release, Badwater, finds the band washed ashore onto a dusty, sun-bleached desert. Under this big new sky, guitars are tighter and percussion is prismatic: white heat makes white light. True to Speck Mountain’s sound, Marie-Claire Balabanian’s soulful, breathy vocals heat the record, providing the warm tonal blanket to co-writer Karl Briedrick’s swirling, luminous
guitars––both swelling together in search of some distant release.

The three years since the release of the band’s second album, Some Sweet Relief, found Briedrick and Balabanian undertaking journeys of personal transformation. “We went through a couple of years of not being able to do anything. Then we got the right band, and that changed everything,” confesses Briedrick. That “right band” consists of former Chin Up Chin Up drummer Chris Dye and former Pentecostal church organist Linda Malonis. Jolted by this generous new sound, the quartet recorded at John McEntire’s Soma EMS in Chicago, where
McEntire also mixed many of the tracks. But ultimately, this is a sound that is all their own. It is a record of relationships ending, of what we find when absences are created, of renewal.

In this new landscape of cracked, brown earth, a steady gallop beats, a head-nodding amble. Feral, fleeting, wild electricity crackling in the air––a building heat in search of relief. No holding back. We are offered the redemptive baptism, like a coming desert downpour. Balabanian’s croon in the closing track of Badwater sounds off like an invocation: Lay down and watch the storm.

“The whole thing feels like a nice warm dream.” —Paste

Debut of track Slow So Long on MTV Hive.

“Speck Mountain’s session…must’ve come with a free flowing stock of valium and warm milk.” —Stereogum

Press by George Corona at Terrorbird Media
Geo@Terrorbird.com

Badwater reviews, lovin’, and links

“Marie-Clare Balabanian and Karl Briedrick continue their wandering eyes and ways from the badlands and into the Badwaters where storms and elements test relationships and souls, and weary eyed quests for fresh visions present the group’s evolution from a duo to added recruits that deepen their mountainous, wild-western soundscapes.” - Impose Magazine

“The mix of Americana dust and dream-pop gauze has never sounded this strong.” - PopMatters

“The gloom-pop track, from their upcoming record Badwater, contains gauzy atmospherics, moody guitars, and tender vocals delivered with a lot of feeling.” - MTV Hive

Record of the week at Piccadilly Records (UK)

8/10 – PopMatters

“Speck Mountain rides the storm in a mood that downplays that concern, choosing to let whatever’s going to happen just go ahead and happen” - Daytrotter Session

“Whether the ephemeral smoulder of lo-fi opener Caught Up, or the dustbowl crush of Young Eyes it’s Balabanian’s weathered, yet still unmistakably smooth vocal around which their overriding enticement whirrs.” – Dots and Dashes

Uncut December 2012 Office Playlist

Magnet Run Honey Run B-side track premiere

“Song after song establishes a warm, sloppy groove within moments, wrapping itself around the listener like a warm fuzzy blanket. This is all good.” – PopMatters

“The acute time at which melancholia meets majesty, and is the enchanting sound of a band ever ascending toward the peak of their combined powers.” - Dots and Dashes (UK) 

“Haunting security camera footage that echoes its melancholy vibe.” - Under the Radar

Badwater is…a breathtaking release that’s as coherent as a whole as it is compelling in its every component” - Dots and Dashes (UK) 

“Marie-Claire Balabanian and Karl Briedrick may not be from Chicago, but they have been based here for quite some time now. In fact, their moody, almost brooding sound, suggests they’ve been here all along” – Brooklyn Vegan & BV Chicago

 

 

Publicity provided by:

Terrorbird Media
Attn: George Corona
330 Morgan Ave #306
Brooklyn, NY 11211
510.922.9705
geo@terrorbird.com
Terrorbird.com

Tour Dates
  • 20 Apr 2013 Chicago, IL Record Store Day @ Reckless Records Wicker Park Tickets
  • 26 Apr 2013 Brooklyn, NY @ Cameo Gallery Tickets
  • 12 May 2013 Lincoln, NE @ The Zoo Bar Tickets
  • 13 May 2013 Casper, WY @ The Wonder Bar Tickets
  • 14 May 2013 Missoula, MT @ Ole Beck VFW Post 209 Tickets
  • 15 May 2013 Seattle, WA @ Sunset Tavern Tickets
  • 16 May 2013 Vancouver, BC @ The Electric Owl Tickets
  • 17 May 2013 Olympia, WA @ Le Voyeur Tickets
  • 18 May 2013 Tacoma, WA @ The Den Tickets
  • 19 May 2013 Portland, OR @ Valentines Tickets
  • 20 May 2013 Salem, OR @ Possum House Tickets
  • 22 May 2013 San Francisco, CA @ Hemlock Tavern Tickets
  • 23 May 2013 Los Angeles, CA @ Bootleg Bar Tickets
  • 25 May 2013 Los Angeles, CA @ Permanent Records InStore Tickets
  • 26 May 2013 Phoenix, AZ @ The Lost Leaf Tickets
  • 28 May 2013 Fort Collins, CO @ GNU: Experience Gallery Tickets
  • 29 May 2013 Denver, CO @ Merchants Mile High Tickets
  • 30 May 2013 Omaha, NE @ Barley Street Tavern Tickets
  • 3 Jun 2013 Chicago, IL @ Millennium Park Tickets
  • 25 Sep 2013 Chicago, IL @ The Burlington Tickets
  • 28 Oct 2013 Chicago, IL @ The Empty Bottle Tickets
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