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Mount Moriah - Miracle Temple

  by Mark Rowland

published: 11 / 4 / 2013

Mount Moriah - Miracle Temple
Label: Merge Records
Format: CD


Heartfelt and powerful second album from North Carolina-based folk duo, Mount Moriah

Mount Moriah fit into that well-established tradition of punk rockers and metal heads unleashing their inner country (which effectively gave birth to the alt-country movement). Singer Heather McEntire was once in the punk band Bellafea, and co-founder Jenks Miller was in psych metal band Horseback. The pair founded Mount Moriah as an outlet for what they call “classic American folk and rock music”. Comparisons to artists such as Ryan Adams can be drawn due to mutual influences (and musical backgrounds), but the emotional heart of the band’s music is all McEntire. McEntire has a very strong voice; bright, clear, the rage she expressed as part of Bellafea replaced with subtler expressions of pain. To a casual ear, she sounds like a young Dolly Parton, both tonally and in her phrasing. In other words, she sounds ideally suited to country music. 'Miracle Temple', the band’s second album and first for Merge Records, broadens and embellishes their sound. It’s an album that gets progressively better as it goes along, as you’re drawn in by the emotional power of McEntire’s voice. Opener ‘Younger Days’ is a slight introduction to 'Miracle Temple', but the band racks things up a good few notches with the appropriately sunny ‘Bright Light’ and the small town stories of ‘Eureka Springs’ – both of which feature some wonderful vocal harmonies. The band essentially holds back on this record and let McEntire’s voice carry the songs, which is probably the right thing to do. Overall, the songs on 'Miracle Temple' are strong, with occasional weaker moments, but songs such as ‘I Built a Town’, ‘White Sands’ and ‘Swannanoa’ hit you full in the chest, giving McEntire’s voice the chance to emotionally soar.

Track Listing:-
1 Younger Days
2 Bright Light
3 Eureka Springs
4 I Built a Town
5 White Sands
6 Connecticut to Carolina
7 Rosemary
8 Swannanoa
9 Miracle Temple Holiness
10 Union Street Bridge
11 Those Girls
12 Telling the Hour

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