Mount Sharp caught our attention as we were listening through our daily mountain of emails and their mixture of fuzz indie stuck out and refused to go away. We featured Icarus in our Best of June and their EP Weird Fears came out on the 26th of August. The five tracks are indie rock in its most simplistic but delectable form. Fuzz, drums, lyrics. You don’t really need much more when you get that mixture right, and that is what Mount Sharp have done with Weird Fears. To mark the release we caught up with Sarah Wood and Bryan Bruchman from the Brooklyn based band to chat about the album and life in the big apple.
So your new EP Weird Fears came out on the 26th of August. How would you sum up the album in 10 words?
Sarah Wood: Nerd making obvious mistakes, wrapped in awesomely fuzzy guitar blankets.
Your music has been described as extremely “summery” by a number of blogs and reviews. Is this something you were intentionally hoping to achieve? Or did it just happen to turn out that way?
SW: I like writing that mixes up bright, light tones with slightly-to-totally depressing lyrics, which can create an interesting dissonance. I think that’s often read as “summery,” but releasing this record in the summer probably helped with that.
You met in Portland, but now live in Brooklyn. Did you move for the music?
Bryan Bruchman: I’m going to say that Sarah followed me down to Brooklyn from Maine so we could start a band together after having an amazing time playing one song together on a booze cruise. That may not be completely true, but it’s probably close enough.
We receive a lot of emails from bands in the USA, and they are mainly based in NYC or LA. Do you think that you can be musically creative/successful in other cities in the states, or are their simply not enough chance to develop as a young, small band outside of these hubs?
BB: Small cities can be amazing for some bands – if you work it right, you can develop a strong local crowd and get on bills with bigger bands you’d be unlikely to get shows with as easily in a bigger city. Cities like NYC and LA do seem to have a bit more energy and competition, which might drive bands to work harder. In a smaller city or scene it can be easy to just take your time working on music and not be as career-oriented, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it probably means they’re not sending their music out as much.
5 things you love about living in Brooklyn are…
1) I have a hammock in my backyard. Enough said.
2) My bodega has a killer beer selection.
3) I can get sushi pretty much whenever I want, which is frequently.
4) A family of street kittens hangs out next door and it’s amazing.
5) I can go to a bar with a TARDIS bathroom.
What are the 3 essential things you personally need to have with you/around you before you start writing/recording a song?
1) My phone or computer – I’m not trained enough musically to be able to transcribe melodies as they come to me, so I have to record them.
3) My notebook – I always have some fragments of lyrics that don’t belong to a song yet floating around in there, waiting for a catchy tune to take them to the dance.
4 albums you couldn’t live without are…..
SW: I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One – Yo La Tengo / Milk-Eyed Mender – Joanna Newsom / Loveless – My Bloody Valentine/ Rumours – Fleetwood Mac.
Are there any bands out there at the minute that we should be checking out?
BB: Beat Radio, Crazy Pills, The Meaning Of Life, Sunset Hearts, Field Mouse, Miniboone, Service, Highwaisted, Hey Anna, Owel, New Myths, Robot Princess…
A venue you would love to play is…..
BB: Bowery Ballroom
What are your plans for the rest of the year?
BB: We’re playing in NJ soon at one of my favorite venues – Asbury Lanes. Bowling and rock shows go well together. Then, there’s CMJ and other local shows and hopefully we’ll get back up to New England again; we just had a nice weekend run of shows up there. In fact, if every show we played could be on a boat, we’d be pretty happy about it. We’ve also got some more videos from the EP to work on!