LITTLE MOUNTAIN – Self-titled (Fly Agaric FAR001)

Little MountainFounded by sometime Morcheeba multi-instrumentalist, Ross Godfrey, and also featuring partner Amanda Zamolo and Steven Forshaw, the latter two both handling vocal duties, the trio may be based in London, but their musical spirits are out there in the California of the late 60s and early 70s, the sound of Laurel Canyon in particular.

That sunny vibe is captured from the get go on ‘Giving It Up’, the influence of Stephen Stills evident in its FM radio musculature, and the dreamily lazing ‘Catchy Me’, co-penned by Will Sprott who lends harmonies to Zamolo’s sugar sweet tones. She handles vocals on two other cuts (both of which she-co wrote with Godrey), ‘What We Gonna Do’, which fuses Fleetwood Mac-styled 70s soft folk rock and a contemporary percussive feel that conjures late night wide open spaces, and ‘Tractor Beam’, an acoustic guitar backed ballad with an otherworldly watery folk ambience.

In addition to being responsible for writing the album’s folk blues instrumental ‘Sound Mirror’ (named for the concrete dishes in Kent once used to detect enemy aircraft), where, under the influence of Leo Kottke and Gordon Giltrap, acoustic guitar filigrees do battle with National Steel), Forshaw also sings lead on his co-writes, which range from the narcotic, Neil Young-like ‘You Never Know’ with its steady drum beat, growling guitar and underpinning keys to the cosmic country soul flavoured ‘Hide Me From The Darkness’ with its shades of the Grateful Dead. He also has two solo credits, the gentle swaying breeze of the lap steel-tinted ‘Almighty Love’ and, written for his girlfriend, the heartfelt acoustic strummed ‘Even More’, both of which showcase a sand-grained, emotion cracked voice that suggests a knockout solo album (awaits somewhere down the road. Hopefully, though as an adjunct too rather than instead of furthering this very promising partnership.

Mike Davies

Little Mountain – a live and acoustic ‘Even More’: