In a recent article by NPR, Mount Kimbie explained the hardships of crafting their newest album, Cold Spring Fault Less Youth.
“At times it was a question of, ‘Have we got another record in us?'” explained Kai Campos, who, along with Dominic Maker, makes up the group. Their temporary self-doubt comes at no surprise given the acclaim of their Crooks & Lovers album, which was adored by critics, showcased in over 30 “Best of 2010” lists, and helped peg a previously indescribable subgenre now known to the blogosphere as post-dubstep. Overcoming the hurdle of a monumental first album is a delicate matter, one that Mount Kimbie has handled with style and grace on Cold Spring.
You’ll still find the duo’s obscure field recordings and fuzzy organs on tracks like Home Recording, which kicks the album off with breaking percussion sounds and warm vocals. This kind of beauty and indie pop sensibility is carried over into tracks like Break Well, which features a plethora of ambient and reverb-laden orchestral sounds before morphing into a breakdown that could easily be mistaken for a Modest Mouse tune, and So Many Times, So Many Ways which must have come from a live jam session of Campos and Maker.
The duo scooped up King Krule to lend vocals on You Took Your Time for some stripped-down hip hop, and Meter, Pale and Tone, a tribal and mallet-heavy tune. In both, the young rapper’s baritone droll feels both unattached and charismatic, giving the tracks some extra depth.
The detuned whistles and square waves that march through on Blood And Form is certainly a highlight of the album, while the most dance-friendly tune is found in Made To Stray. Side note: I’ve heard outcries from other blogs that the vocal at the end of this track “ruins” the dancey vibes of the beginning, which is a fine argument if you’re stuck in a linear edm-bubble and don’t care for the evolution of status quo-challenging electronic music.
Fall Out is the duo’s graceful bow to end the album. Lovely, fluttering melodies inducing reflection of what you’ve just heard. My reflection: CSFLY is a great collection of tracks that can easily be appreciated by the hip underground crowd and mainstream radio types alike. It doesn’t exactly hold up to Crooks & Lovers, but it exists in its own weird little space and certainly won’t lose them any fans. Mount Kimbie has perfected its signature sound of static swells and dusty synths; let’s see where it evolves to next.
Pick up a copy here.