Miracle Temple

Miracle Temple

by Mount Moriah
     
 

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Mount Moriah's self-titled debut album offered a lovely, intimate, tender brand of electric Americana that reflected influences as diverse as Neil Young, Dolly Parton, and Carole King. While that may have surprised fans of Jenks Miller and Heather

Overview

Mount Moriah's self-titled debut album offered a lovely, intimate, tender brand of electric Americana that reflected influences as diverse as Neil Young, Dolly Parton, and Carole King. While that may have surprised fans of Jenks Miller and Heather McEntire, whose catalogs are made up of decidedly more explosive offerings, it shouldn't have. Both are talents too large to be constrained by genre. Miracle Temple contains the root of that sound, but it's evolved considerably. The band, at this point a trio with bassist Casey Toll, is signed to Merge Records. They've created a dark gem of an album buoyed by better production, stellar performances, and peopled by a wider array of guests including Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls. The overall sound is richer, fuller, and more immediate, but it is balanced by McEntire's emotionally taut, poetic lyrics and an intoxicating, edgy meld of guitars, bass, violins, drums and other instruments. On "Connecticut to Carolina," an electric country waltz with a gorgeous pedal steel by Allyn Love, McEntire -- with Ray on backing vocals -- exhorts a lover to "Get out of my heart/Step into the light/You will pay for what you crave/Your will ain't taut like wire..." In "I Built a Town," with its haunting organ and mournful violins, she creates an allegorical mythos of bewilderment and heartbreak: "I built a house behind my eyes/I sewed a veil for you to hide/I grow flowers to cut, towers to hold you high/There was nothing I could do to keep you inside." In "Miracle Temple Holiness," hers and Miller's guitars ring sharply, as Toll's bassline moves against them. Violins and James Walker's drum kit make it all swirl before she proclaims: "If fearness shakes your holy water/Let it rise, let it rise, let it rise..." She quivers with rage but her voice never breaks, giving the song an indisputable emotional authority. Miller's highly individual guitar style is a beacon. He punctuates McEntire's lyrics, adding depth in accenting her shapeshifting meanings. Closer "Telling The Hour," is a gospelized, haunted blues, with eerie piano, swirling fiddles, and Miller's guitar sparsely punching through the mix with McEntire nearly wailing about love's destructive power: "Gimme whiskey, gimme wine/And an unfaithful sky/Gimme scars so dark/I will have no choice but to remember." Miracle Temple is gorgeous. Its songs contain poignancy, pathos, pain, and desire, warapped loosely inside gritty, artfully played Southern gothic rock & roll.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/26/2013
Label:
Merge Records
UPC:
0673855046624
catalogNumber:
50466
Rank:
99294

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Mount Moriah   Primary Artist
Amy Ray   Background Vocals
Daniel Hart   Violin
Casey Toll   Bass Guitar,Upright Bass,Group Member
Heather McEntire   Electric Guitar,Vocals,Background Vocals,Group Member
Jenks Miller   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Harmonium,Group Member
James Wallace   Organ,Percussion,Piano,Drums,Background Vocals
Ryan Gustafson   Background Vocals
Will Hackney   Background Vocals
Bibis Ellison   Background Vocals
Catherine Edgerton   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Mark Nevers   Producer,Engineer
Casey Toll   Composer
Heather McEntire   Composer,Lyricist,Producer
Jenks Miller   Composer,Producer
Sarah Messer   Composer,Lyricist

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