There’s this sort of rule that when you talk about Switzerland, you have to mention things like mountains and Cuckoo clocks, watches and chocolate and the like. Musically, there is sort of Alp horns and yodeling and things. I’m sure that if I were Swiss, I would be thoroughly sick of these sort of lazy generalistic things always being wheeled out.
Well, it’s very different with Cotton Mount. This, for a start, is free of both yodeling and Alp Horns. Instead it’s an indie four piece – Daniel Minten on bass, trumpet and viola (what a wonderfully European combination), drummer Pierre Schilling, Thibault Zanoni on guitars and Igor Varidel on vocals and guitars. Coming our of Geneva, home to many things but not especially recognised as a hive of Indie-music activity.
They recently released a single, In Blue Colour, ahead of their debut album Still Life, which arrived at the end of last month. The track itself is this sort of flowing psych-laden piece of indie pop. Varidel’s gruff vocals seem at odds with the beauty of the accompanyment, but in a way, that clash is the beauty. Its weaves its way, with guitars alternately stripped back and then repeating patterns, creating an almost ambient under-current. Vocal harmonies keep raising your spirits, almost celestially, contrasting this angular, off beat bassline. B-Side Abby is much more trippy, early R.E.M. and takes quite a lot of one of the bands stated influences, Pink Floyd. Like the A-Side, it takes you away, far away, and all the contrasting elements seem to work to create something that’s not a conventional beauty, but has that certain something about them…..
If the album is like this, then Cotton Mount may have hit upon something very special indeed. Mountainous, maybe…..