New Audio: The Subtly Old-Timey Country of Blackheart Honeymoon’s “Mountains Speak”

Currently comprised of Ian Prebo (vocals, acoustic guitar), Wesley Amundsen (bass) Steve Andrea (guitar) Adrienne Marie Pollock (vocals, keys) Dusty Hayes (drums, vocals), the Seattle, WA-based quintet, Blackheart Honeymoon can trace their origins to when founding members Prebo and Amundsen met while they were both Boy Scouts. The duo have long had a passion for roots and Americana music; in fact, when Prebo began writing what he considered folk-based, alt-country songs and hitting open mic while in film school, he reached out to his old scouting buddy to take part. The duo recruited Andrea and a few other members — and with their original lineup, they recorded a well-received EP back in 2013. Their debut EP was represented by the Play Network, and as a result, their music was played at Gap, Nordstrom and Starbucks, which introduced their music to millions of customers and listeners across the country.

Just as the band started to receive national attention, the band went through a lineup change as several members of the band left to do other things. So the remaining trio of Prebo, Amudsen, and Andrea recruited Pollock and Hayes to complete the new lineup — and since the formation of the new lineup, the quintet has quickly established itself as one of Seattle’s best, up-and-coming indie bands. Their second gig with the new lineup was featured on CW11‘s local hit show, Band in Seattle and they’ve played gigs with a number of local up-and-coming acts that have received attention across the blogosphere, including Star Anna, Prom Queen, Vaudeville Etiquette, and The Swearengens.

Naturally, as a result of the lineup change, the band’s sound has reportedly changed although I would suspect that among their earliest fans, that such a change in sonic direction is subtle. According to press notes, the Seattle-based quintet’s sound draws from a variety of influences including Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, The Byrds, Neutral Milk Hotel and Fleetwood Mac. And interestingly enough bloggers and journalists have compared Blackheart Honeymoon’s sound to Wilco, Ryan Adams and The New Pornographers; however, to my ears, “Mountains Speak” the album title track off the band’s forthcoming full-length debut, Mountains Speak reminds me quite a bit of The Lonely Wild and Brandi Carlile as the song pairs twangy guitar chords, twinkling keyboards and earnest, soaring harmonies in a measuredly swooning love song that sounds both old-timey and modern.