Speck Mountain
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Speck Mountain

Chicago, Illinois, United States | INDIE

Chicago, Illinois, United States | INDIE
Band Alternative Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos




GLASSWERKS (UK) - "Who has the balls to make a record like this these days?"

THE TIMES (UK) - "4/5. what matters here is the voice of Marie-Claire Balabanian, which carves out a territory bordered on the one side by Hope Sandoval and Margo Timmins, and on the other side by Chan Marshall and Neko Case. Meanwhile, the guitarist, Karl Briedrick, takes his cues from the Velvets’ third album and late-1960s Stones."

Q - "a heavily addictive, comfortably numbing kind of experience."

MOJO - "their echoey shimmer has the ghostly quality of mist on the bayou."

KEXP - "sends a medulla-melting euphoria through the base of one’s skull."

NPR - "...dreamy, impressionistic, and ambient. Like sunlight shining through a gauzy curtain, Balabanian's rich vocals are simultaneously hazy, distant and piercing."

PREFIX MAG - 8/10 "I could sit here all day and write about Balabanian's beautiful voice, or the collection of dreamy songs on Some Sweet Relief. I could keep rambling on about the intricate guitar work and bittersweet atmosphere of the album. I could discuss its subtle moves between pop and country and soul and R&B. But, in the end, it isn't these things, taken together or separately, that make the album great. In the end, the way Some Sweet Relief comes together is inexplicable, in a way."

SKYSCRAPER - “Moony roots pop…the groups gentle psychedelia is amply thinned with the laid-back folk-rock of the 1970’s and layered over VU-style hypnotically churning bluesy rhythm beds."

ALL MUSIC - 4/5 Stars "For those raised on dream pop bands and space rock songs, Some Sweet Relief sounds somewhat timeless, a 40-minute offering of neo-psych gospel that's more polished, more promising, and altogether stronger than most of the band's contemporaries."

VENUS - 4.5/5 Stars “Balabanian’s voice leads the way from soft coos to bluesy wails. Pulsating electric guitar riffs, creepy organ chords, and campfire-style backing harmonies round out each track, practically compelling the listener to lay back, turn out the lights, and stay awake until the last note fades."

OTHER MUSIC (NYC) - "The songs are all slow and hazy, with a bit of the cosmic gospel inflection you hear in Spiritualized, or perhaps what a grittier take on Beach House might sound like... Great stuff, and I can't wait to hear what they do next."

PICCADILLY RECORDS (UK) - "Simply beautiful." - Various


Summer Above LP/CD, 2006
Blood is Clean CDS/7" 2007
Some Sweet Relief LP/CD 2009
Badwater LP/CD Oct.2 2012



Speck Mountain are an ambient-soul band possessed as much by the grit of southern soul as the spell of infinite drones. Co-leaders Karl Briedrick and Marie-Claire Balabanian provoke each other with intuitive, womb-curled melody, exploded texture, and spiky, strutting rhythm—and so far I’m just talking about the guitars. New keyboardist Linda Malonis, and drummer Chris Dye bring a new energy to the band that may surprise old diehards.
Sonically Speck Mountain are in thrall to vintage effects and recording techniques. Their studio mixes are painstaking, booby-trapped all over with headphone-happy detail. Their live sets project a loose, narcotic swagger, taking off from atmospheric majesty into full-on hypnotic assault.
A new full-length album entitled Badwater will be released in early Oct. 2012.