Mount Moriah has come a long way from its scrappy punk days, though the seeds for How to Dance were always there. How to Dance is truly monumental. It amps up that engrossing feeling the band pioneered in Miracle Temple; listening to How to Dance with even a halfway decent pair of headphones is an immersive experience. In short How to Dance is a triumph.
Mount Moriah as a band is conscious of their multiple identities: a southern rock band with a queer frontwoman. The music and lyrics are rife with nods to tradition, but the band is most interested in pushing beyond those confines. And so, we have the Jackson boys fighting over fishing holes sharing space with Chiron the centaur. I haven't finished picking my way through the lyrics of Miracle Temple yet, but I can say that How to Dance feels like an attempt to reframe the mythos and positive qualities of growing up in the rural South to include all identities. As important as anything you listen to in the album, Mount Moriah's statement on the sleeve is important to consider, both in this context and beyond:
How to Dance has cemented Mount Moriah in my rock'n'roll firmament. This is very much one of the best albums to come out this year. I look forward to successive listens.
Mount Moriah -- Official, Facebook, Purchase from Merge Records