Big Thief’s Buck Meek Confirms New Solo Album ‘Haunted Mountain’ & Shares Country-Tinged Title Track
Watch the in-studio music video filmed at the renowned Sonic Ranch recording facility in Texas.
By Nate Todd May 25, 2023 • 12:29 pm PDT
Buck Meek announced a new album, Haunted Mountain, his solo debut on his band Big Thief’s label 4AD. The Texas-born singer-songwriter and guitarist previewed the record set for release on August 25 with the title track, which arrived along with a music video.
Haunted Mountain is Meek’s third solo effort and the follow-up to 2021’s Two Saviors. “Haunted Mountain is about love and… something other,” as per a press release for the album. “Something bigger than love, something that doesn’t challenge love exactly but stands in contrast to it. A soulfulness, or a soul-seeking fullness.”
To Meek, love songs are the most difficult to write. “Not break-up songs, but an actual love song written in earnest? That is taboo now,” Meek stated. “Sometimes it can feel like all the great love songs have already been written.”
To track Haunted Mountain, Buck assembled a group of familiar players at the renowned Sonic Ranch recording facility in Tornillo, Texas including longtime solo band members guitarist Adam Brisbin, drummer Austin Vaughn and Mat Davidson on pedal steel guitar.
While Davidson also played bass on Meek’s previous solo LPs, the players welcomed relative newcomer Ken Woodward on bass as well as Buck’s brother Dylan Meek on piano and synths. Engineer Adrian Olsen mixed the album and also added sound manipulation via modular synths. Davidson handled production duties.
“The music here is an expression of a group,” Davidson stated. “I asked for the job because I felt strongly that we shouldn’t bring in someone from outside the band. Otherwise, the only personal desire I had was that we be able to explore space, that we let the music open up and slow down in contrast to previous records – not in terms of tempo but rather overall movement, information between the beats.”
Davidson achieved this space exploration by treating the live room at Sonic Ranch as a sacred space for music only, with conversation limited to the control room and cell phones left on a ledge outside. The album boasts 11 Buck Meek originals, five of which were co-written with his friend and fellow Texan Jolie Holland. Her contributions to “Haunted Mountain” are a love letter to California’s Mount Shasta.
“It’s about being humbled by the thing you’re drawing power from only at which point an actual, fair relationship begins,” Meek added on the lead single.
Riley Engemoen captured the in-studio magic at Sonic Ranch in the accompanying video for “Haunted Mountain.” Watch below:
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Haunted Mountain Tracklist:
- Mood Ring
- Haunted Mountain
- Secret Side
- Didn’t Know You Then
- Undae Dunes
- Where You’re Coming From
- The Rainbow