Mt Doubt was created at the beginning of last year by Edinburgh-based Leo Bargery and his debut album My Past is a Quiet Beast produced by Mark Morrow (of The Winter Tradition) has picked up quite a bit of interest being named Scottish Fiction’s Top 10 Scottish Albums of 2015 and his singles from it Feathers and Asunder receiving airplay from XFM and Amazing Radio respectively. (Feathers was chosen as XFM’s Track of the Day).
Beast starts sombrely with a rich, dark sound where Bargery sounds like a tortured soul with longing in his voice. Feathers begins with 80s electro-pop that evokes Mew. It is catchier and happier sounding. This is a confident, notable track.
On Bend Sinister Bargery croons “Go bend yourself into the most sinister shapes you can imagine”. This has a melody that ebbs and flows with tranquillity in the one instance and urgency in the next, then back again. It builds to a crescendo before releasing itself quietly again. Asunder begins with a slightly Oriental tone that brought to mind (Hong Kong Garden by Siouxsie and the Banshees) with its plinking sound. Another song that is driven by sadness and a yearning.
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Dancing Platforms is full of swooping and soaring moments and I love the line: “This overwhelming weight of nothing is more than I can bear” whilst Telmessos is moody with some inspired lyrics: “You’ve got a backpack full of rocks, won’t you come swimming” and “I’m a Nagasaki shadow on the inside of your skull”. Slump brings to mind Matt Johnson’s (The The) vocals and has a stop-start quality that combines well with the vocals that are almost spoken like a poem. Soft Wrists sounds like a beautiful, structured love song that has the ability to stop time on listening. This sounded very Arcade Fire as it progressed and, along, with Feathers is a stand-out track.
Overall this is a dark, brooding, impressive debut album with multi-layered melodies and poetic, incisive lyrics that have the knack of unnerving and easing the listener simultaneously.