JOLIE HOLLAND – HAUNTED MOUNTAIN
Jolie Holland has forged a timeless, captivating musical legacy; as she mines the depths of her, at times harrowing, life experiences, her creative choices are rooted in honesty and presence. They are also fearless.
On October 6th, she will unveil her latest collection, Haunted Mountain; intricately connected with friend and collaborator Buck Meek’s album of the same name, Haunted Mountain features five songs co-written by the pair, including the mesmerizing title track. “When he told me he was including our song on his next record, I was extremely pleased at the weirdness – I was going to release a version as well,” Holland says, adding that they had each planned to give their albums the same title. “We thought about it for a minute and decided it was bizarre and wonderful. I am enormously pleased that Buck chose it as his album name too.”
Haunted Mountain brims with poignant metaphors, alongside vivid, lyrical imagery meant to expand the collective imagination. Her words, delivered in her haunting, smokey lilt, stir the soul and shine a focused, unapologetic light on the tragedies of our time. She reckons with disaster capitalism, creeping fascism, colonialism, and patriarchal oppression. She confronts the very real terror that civilization is subjected to the whims of sociopathic men wielding unearned power who are capable of unfathomable destruction. She speaks to feelings of dispossession, alienation, and groundlessness, and the insidiousness of “othering.” She recognizes society’s dangerous tendency towards the avoidance of trauma, validates the helplessness we all feel in the wake of geopolitical upheaval, and elevates the sacred significance of humanity being in reciprocity with nature.
Holland begins the journey of Haunted Mountain with “2000 Miles Is Nothing,” a yearning masterpiece about love. “Feet On The Ground,” which could be mistaken for Radiohead or Aphex Twin before Holland’s signature whistling comes in soaring atop organic electronic sounds, creates a sensation of floating. She duets with Meek in anti-colonial hymn “Highway 72”; its Americana-meets-Nyabinghi rhythm, accompanied by Meek’s beautiful Hank Williams-esque vocals, carries an autobiographical tale of life lived in the streets, trying to scare up spare change in the golden glow of a smoggy afternoon, then trying to sleep by the concrete arroyo at night. In “Orange Blossoms,” Holland explores man’s disastrous effects on a fragile planet, as some of its most fragile beings, pollinators in blissful flight, do the work of holding the world together.
Working closely with her talented collaborators, Adam Brisbin and Justin Veloso, Holland painstakingly crafted Haunted Mountain, turning textured layers into a seamless collage, capturing the magic of each moment in real time. Ever the innovator, she captured the sound of knuckles rapping on the piano and the warm chorus of cicadas in album closer “What It’s Worth.” The intriguing atmosphere of “Feet On The Ground” was created by running a drum machine through an amp into a vast barn, every sonic experiment a testament to her willingness to push the boundaries of her art.
Haunted Mountain is an immaculate achievement of boundless creativity, profound lyricism, and thought-provoking artistry. With poetic storytelling awash in a dream-like sonic palette, Holland invites audiences on an alluring journey that leaves an indelible mark on the heart and opens the mind.