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Speck Mountain

Who? Marie-Claire Balabanian’s dreamy, downhearted vocals echo over tape delay and shimmering sonics from guitarist Karl Briedrick, pianist Kate Walsh, and percussionist Ben Borowiak. Their debut album, the breezy tones of Summer Above dropped via the band’s own Burnt Brown Sounds last week. Playing CMJ Thursday (Oct. 18) at New York’s Knitting Factory with St. Vincent, His Name Is Alive, Papercuts, Le Loup and Bowerbirds.

What’s the Deal? The member’s roots are disparate — New York, Portland and Detroit — but the sum of the parts make the soundtrack for a dreamy, Valium-shaded redeye between the coasts. Imagine a particularly brokenhearted Nico or a particularly sanguine Mazzy Star and you’re in the ballpark of their debut, Summer Above, which was guided by celebrated Chicago producer John Bryant. From the celestial twinklings of “Summer Above” and the circular riffs of “Hey Moon” to the wintry organ delivery on “Midnight Sun,” Summer Above‘s meandering soundscapes will haunt you in slumberland.

Fun Fact: The band got their huge atmospheric sound the old fashioned way: through dirty old analogue gear. No digital synths were used on the record.�

Now Hear This:Speck Mountain – “Hey Moon” DOWNLOAD MP3

On the Web:Speck Mountain at MySpace Speck Mountain at Burnt Brown Sounds

Talk: Between Okkervil River, Great Lakes Myth Society, and Speck Mountain, it seems that natural wonders might usurp the rein of “the” bands. What geological formation would you name a band after, and why?