James Murray :: Mount View (Slowcraft)

A sadder album than expected, but what comes from the heart, enters the heart.

After Floods and The Land Bridge comes Mount View, the first place I called home,” writes James Murray, as he rounds off his autobiographical trilogy. His trek brings him to a vantage point “from which I can best see things as they are, as a place from which I can forgive and let go.”

Striding out into the fresh air in “Long Light,” Murray maintains his usual unhurried pace by continuing the same theme on “Meaning in Another,” only a bit more slowly. In the disc’s accompany liner note poem, Murray writes, “When the ice comes you and I will wrap up warm and slip outside to find the path up to the mountainside…” Likely the key track title in the whole trilogy, “Meaning in Another” conveys a cautious determination and together with the poem indicates that Murray has company, company with whom he is sharing the experience, hand in hand. “Climb the Rise” extends the theme exquisitely, hearkening to Eno’s “The Big Ship.” Both title track and “Swift Return” with their sacral, circular organ, seem to revolve around the pinnacle while beset by thoughts, or maybe a single, nagging thought, whirling through the head.

“These Hands,” cautious at the piano keys, wonder if they really have let go. Closing with “Remains,” the dominant organ betrays a slight tremor, but is joined by a supportive if terse guitar. It’s a sadder album than expected, but what comes from the heart, enters the heart.

Mount View is available on Slowcraft.

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