Artist of the Week (12/12/16) – Andy Oliveri and the Mountaineers

Each week Vulture Hound picks out a new artist you should definitely be checking out. This week, Ben explains why Andy Oliveri and the Mountaineers deserve your attention.

Andy Oliveri is a stalwart of the nu-folk scene in the Cotswolds drawing a lot of praise for his emotive and intimate delivery. He doesn’t do that so much now; instead backed by the Mountaineers, he channels shoegaze to create enormous soundscapes. This almost unprecedented change is both brave and fascinating and further proves his ability as a songwriter and wordsmith.

This week Andy Oliveri and the Mountaineers have announced the release of their first album through the resurgent Istartedthefire; a label instrumental in a lost folk scene of sleepy Cheltenham. The Album, Call Them Brothers, is out in March and if the video that marks this news is anything to go by – this is going to be one hell of a release.

‘Where The Wild Flowers Grow Fondly’ is not only almost eight minutes of fascinating sonic exploration it is also paired with a video which combines bleakness and positivity in a most confusing fashion. However, this confusion is clearly deliberate with ‘WTWFGF’ yet another example of the clever song writing Oliveri has displayed during his last decade in various musical endeavours. The song tackles, amongst other things, the challenges that ‘change’ puts in front of you – it’s instantly relatable.

Musically there is such individuality to this release and the recordings that made up debut EP, Welcome Stranger. There are hints of experimental acts hidden amongst the vast sound; the sun-drenched lo fi stylings of No Age and Surfer Blood, the crashing soundscapes of the Birthday Party and Caribou and the warming feedback of the Jesus and Mary Chain. With so many points of influence it is unsurprising to hear a sound which, although heavily influenced by shoegaze, also embraces instrumentation from so many other musical areas; post punk, post hardcore, math rock and everything in between.

With all the sonic influence it would be easy to overlook the lyrical content. However, with every listen a new emotive vocal crack or opinion appears. There is most definitely a strong level of word play, vocal delivery and emotion to play off the impeccable musicianship.

With the Mountaineers beside him Andy Oliveri has already proven via a combination of Welcome Stranger EP and some rare live performances that he has graduated from the folk scene with flying colours. It’s this shift in focus that elevates Andy Oliveri and the Mountaineers from mere ‘artists’ to ‘artists of the week’.

Call Them Brothers is out on March 3rd via Istartedthefire.

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