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Künstler: Mary Timony
Label: Matador


Continuing the mystical, prog rock vibe of Helium's No Guitars and Magic City, Mary Timony conjures up Mountains, a collection of songs more akin to the Brothers Grimm's stories or C.S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia than anything in contemporary indie rock. Sparkling vibes, flutes, woozy vintage keyboards, and mandolins give songs like "The Bell," "Whisper From the Tree," and "An-Deluzion" a distant, dreamlike quality, which is the album's greatest strength and weakness; this collection of spooky girl music is so fragile and insular that it demands the listener's full attention, and some people -- Helium fans included -- may not want to put in that much effort. That's their loss, though, because on repeated listening, delicately gripping piano ballads like "Dungeon Dance" and "I Fire Myself " reveal themselves as songs of sadness, frustration, and hope couched in fairy-tale terms, while "Poison Moon," "Rider on the Stormy Sea," and "The Golden Fruit" are subversive rockers from a damsel in exile, not distress. The dreamy, elastic guitar workouts on "The Valley of 1,000 Perfumes" and "Tiger Rising" recall Helium's Pirate Prude, but Mountains has a closer sisterhood with Cindy Dall's Untitled -- another album of witchy chamber rock that is often hypnotic, if you're a willing subject. ~ Heather Phares