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REVIEW: TURKEY MOUNTAIN SUNSET BAND– TRANSMUTATION, DELIVERED!

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TURKEY MOUNTAIN SUNSET BAND
TRANSMUTATION, DELIVERED!

Self Released


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Turkey Mountain Sunset Band (AKA: Esten Hurtle) is a weird band that makes weird music. In the best way possible. His latest EP Transmutation, Delivered! is an experimental combination of the earthiness of folk, the catchy song structures of pop, and the honesty of Americana. It’s a veritable sketchbook of songwriting, starting at the top of a Californian hill in the cool breeze and winding itself down into the gritty and beaten shores of the beach.

“Ocean Beach Love Song, #2” starts off the album and is the one track that sets itself very much apart from the rest of the collection of songs. It’s by far the most upbeat offering and features a bit of a tip of the cap to traditional Irish folk music, especially in the vocal melodies and use of mandolin. It’s a song about distant love and the yearning to close the gap between the lover’s locals. It feels a bit out of place on the small collection of songs until you begin listening to the song’s lyrics and set them next to the other song’s lyrics. A theme begins to appear, one of someone looking in on the world from the outside. An admiration for life and lovers that’s distanced by the windows between the narrator and the other side. The first set of lyrics from “Ocean Beach Love Song, #2” begin to give some hints at this: “Oh I wish how I never did see / All of the ocean between you and me / And I wish that airplanes flew / Between a broken heart and you.”

As the album continues into “Oil Town Freeze” and “Apostasy,” we begin to see Hurtle take this theme and not just continue to thread it through his songwriting, but also utilize it within his instrumentation. “Oil Town Freeze” discusses looking down at your love interest from bleacher seats only to avert your gaze when the possibility of eye contact becomes imminent. It’s a small poem about loneliness and self-insolation. The constant strumming of guitar creates an echo-like effect, making one feel like they are alone in a cavernous room where the only voices you hear are the soft reverberations of your own off the walls. This is matched with the winter setting discussed in the song’s lyrics “But December comes, lips start to crack / Blame the broken heater for that” and the thought that loneliness is unescapable “All the girls in the oil town / Got good hearts, but no wedding gown.”

“Apostasy” presents this feeling of outsiderness in a different kind of way: in the context of religion and feeling uncomfortable with the beliefs you grew up with. It paints a picture of the narrator leaving town and leaving the beliefs he grew up with in his rearview mirror. It also speaks to the guilt found in turning away from such a foundational element and the questioning of if it were the correct decision or not. It’s self-discovery through making possible mistakes.

Thought the album is only 7 songs long, including covers of “Big Rocky Candy Mountain,” “Take It Easy,” and “Wrecking Ball,” the four original songs point to a promise of strong future songwriting and excited impending weirdness. It’s a mix of songs with subtle diversity held together through smart lyrics and Hurtle’s John Darnielle-esque voice. It’ll be a pleasure to see what comes next from Turkey Mountain Sunset Band.

Give the EP a stream via Bandcamp below and buy it on the Bandcamp site or on iTunes if you like what ya hear. 

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TURKEY MOUNTAIN SUNSET BAND
TRANSMUTATION, DELIVERED!

Self Released

[/spb_text_block] [spb_image image=”13146″ image_size=”full” frame=”noframe” intro_animation=”none” animation_delay=”200″ fullwidth=”no” lightbox=”yes” link_target=”_self” caption_pos=”hover” width=”1/1″ el_position=”first last”] [spb_text_block icon=”Third” animation=”none” animation_delay=”0″ padding_vertical=”0″ padding_horizontal=”0″ width=”1/1″ el_position=”first last”]

Turkey Mountain Sunset Band (AKA: Esten Hurtle) is a weird band that makes weird music. In the best way possible. His latest EP Transmutation, Delivered! is an experimental combination of the earthiness of folk, the catchy song structures of pop, and the honesty of Americana. It’s a veritable sketchbook of songwriting, starting at the top of a Californian hill in the cool breeze and winding itself down into the gritty and beaten shores of the beach.

“Ocean Beach Love Song, #2” starts off the album and is the one track that sets itself very much apart from the rest of the collection of songs. It’s by far the most upbeat offering and features a bit of a tip of the cap to traditional Irish folk music, especially in the vocal melodies and use of mandolin. It’s a song about distant love and the yearning to close the gap between the lover’s locals. It feels a bit out of place on the small collection of songs until you begin listening to the song’s lyrics and set them next to the other song’s lyrics. A theme begins to appear, one of someone looking in on the world from the outside. An admiration for life and lovers that’s distanced by the windows between the narrator and the other side. The first set of lyrics from “Ocean Beach Love Song, #2” begin to give some hints at this: “Oh I wish how I never did see / All of the ocean between you and me / And I wish that airplanes flew / Between a broken heart and you.”

As the album continues into “Oil Town Freeze” and “Apostasy,” we begin to see Hurtle take this theme and not just continue to thread it through his songwriting, but also utilize it within his instrumentation. “Oil Town Freeze” discusses looking down at your love interest from bleacher seats only to avert your gaze when the possibility of eye contact becomes imminent. It’s a small poem about loneliness and self-insolation. The constant strumming of guitar creates an echo-like effect, making one feel like they are alone in a cavernous room where the only voices you hear are the soft reverberations of your own off the walls. This is matched with the winter setting discussed in the song’s lyrics “But December comes, lips start to crack / Blame the broken heater for that” and the thought that loneliness is unescapable “All the girls in the oil town / Got good hearts, but no wedding gown.”

“Apostasy” presents this feeling of outsiderness in a different kind of way: in the context of religion and feeling uncomfortable with the beliefs you grew up with. It paints a picture of the narrator leaving town and leaving the beliefs he grew up with in his rearview mirror. It also speaks to the guilt found in turning away from such a foundational element and the questioning of if it were the correct decision or not. It’s self-discovery through making possible mistakes.

Thought the album is only 7 songs long, including covers of “Big Rocky Candy Mountain,” “Take It Easy,” and “Wrecking Ball,” the four original songs point to a promise of strong future songwriting and excited impending weirdness. It’s a mix of songs with subtle diversity held together through smart lyrics and Hurtle’s John Darnielle-esque voice. It’ll be a pleasure to see what comes next from Turkey Mountain Sunset Band.

Give the EP a stream via Bandcamp below and buy it on the Bandcamp site or on iTunes if you like what ya hear. 

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