December 2, 2012
While many efforts have been made to describe the music of Speck Mountain, one
must jump in headfirst on their own to fully absorb the band’s textured and melodic
sound. Deep within their sonic landscape is something innately recognizable—
maybe it calls to mind a dozy record player hazing over ’60s soul, a dream, a scrap of
a memory cloaked in that fuzzy atmosphere. By their own definition, “ambient soul”
seems the most apt. It is a sound that surrounds us, warm and round—a sound that
seems like it was always there.
The same could be said of how the band began. Self-described “musical soul mates,”
Marie-Claire Balabanian and Karl Briedrick appear to have lived out parallel lives
in the suburban sprawls of Los Angeles and Detroit respectively before finding each
other in New York City in the early-2000s. Now based in Chicago, the duo share
song writing duties in the formative stages—Balabanian doles out her soulful vocals
and Briedrick crafts rich sonic textures in bass and guitar in the final cuts. For their
third album together, Badwater (Carrot Top Records, January 2013), the creative
partners have added drummer Chris Dye, previously of Chin Up Chin Up, and Linda
Malonis, a former Pentacostal church pianist turned drone-rock organist.
Nathaniel Braddock of Occidental Brothers Dance Band International will open with a set
of solo guitar music.