Monday, January 6, 2014

Mount Moriah -- Miracle Temple

Just in case you thought things were getting dudely in here, go ahead and treat yourself to Miracle Temple.

There's a reason I picked this to be one of the top albums of 2013. It's grand and passionate and beautiful, and that's just not something we see enough of in the world today -- particularly when it comes to music.

Miracle Temple is about singer Heather McEntire's struggling with her own (queer) identity and small-town Southern upbringing. You can hear the gentle Appalachia more readily in Mount Moriah's first, self-titled album, but Miracle Temple is full-on Southern Gothic. You can feel McEntire's searing urgency in "Miracle Temple Holiness," the emotional climax of the album. I haven't read any Faulkner novels, but I imagine Mount Moriah's sound and fury would be an apt backdrop for reading his work. Meanwhile, songs like "Those Girls" and "Younger Days," which treat being closeted more directly, are heavy with repression and suffocation.

McEntire's powerful vocals are ably matched by Jenks Miller and Casey Toll. I saw the band open for Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside a few months ago. Even though the sound wasn't totally up to snuff, there was no question that something amazing was happening on stage. Toll handled that bass guitar like a baby while Miller was a lighting rod of intensity. Certainly see these folks live but, barring that, purchase the album.

Younger Days

Miracle Temple Holiness

Those Girls

Mount Moriah -- Official, Facebook, Purchase

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