July 17, 2014

LP: Guilt Mountain - Hey Witch

Guilt Mountain: perfect listening for blanket forts.

When I listened to Guilt Mountain's Hey Witch for the first time, I wanted to be curled up inside a blanket fort lit up by multicolored Christmas lights. I don't really know why. Perhaps it's the stripped­-down shoegaze quality of the guitars that creates the sort of atmosphere perfect for sharing secrets and keeping them safe. Or perhaps it's the poetic grace of Kate Larson's lyrics. Cynthia recently wrote about Kate's zine, "No Better Than Apples #10", and she said, "Kate's writing is rhythmic and poised, and it resonates". I feel the exact same way about her songs.

As I've listened to Hey Witch again and again, I find myself connecting and recalling last summer in movements, settings, and essences. Driving way out to a friend's farm, following a trail through honeysuckle bushes and willow trees to a lake where I jumped in and recognized the afternoon as ephemeral, as is perhaps the nature of friendships forged in summertime. Lying on a rock in the middle of a river, noticing sadness and a breeze. Waking up alone in a humid bedroom. I'm inspired by Kate's lyrics, by the painful honesty of, "How do you tell the person you've been sleeping with / that you're floating up above them and a little to the left?" and by personal reflections like "inner goth mourns the snow and insides / inner goth wears the blackest clothes". She writes the kind of lyrics that make me want to write poetry again and to try out confessional dreaminess. Hey Witch is an album that's charged with hints of stories, like journal entries whittled down to moments and moods, just specific enough to spark a listener's memory and imagination. Just specific enough to spark feelings too.


Listen to Guilt Mountain on bandcamp.

Caroline Rayner, who likes getting tattoos and cutting up old magazines and driving long distances and baking cookies. She also writes things for Tiny Mix Tapes and, when she remembers, her blog.