Week in Pop: Joseph Black, Kazitexx, Linqua Franqa

Sjimon Gompers

Introducing Athens, GA's new influential icon Linqua Franqa; photographed by Stacey Piotrowska.

Strawberry Mountain

Seattle’s Strawberry Mountain takes you on a magical mystery tour of their own design; press photo courtesy of the band.

Considering the past & present of creative pop histories surrounding Seattle & the PNW as a whole; it is almost safe to say that there truly might be something remarkable in the water. Beyond the hype of local emerging start-ups & other tech entities of global interest, the Washington State underground time & time again proves to be one of the world’s pinacle of progression that has captured the hearts & minds of the universe’s masses hungry for something new, different, wild, yet at the same time familiar. Which brings us to the illustrious phenomenon of Strawberry Mountain that raises a standard of unbound jubilation to rival the iconic towering heights of nearby Mount Si. Readying the self-release of their upcoming album …and she exploded into color; Carter and Mikey Prince, Connor Johnson, Noah Colbeck, Jonny Dugger, Savvas Matiatios & Francis Rowland make a post-modern set of mystical harmonies, melodies & rhythms that are a far cry from your grandparents’ vintage psych pop long-players. Unveiling the world premiere for the single “In Time”, Strawberry Mountain brings audio motions of the mythic down from the towering heights & to the anxious people with open hearts & consciousnesses ready to receive a gift of wonders that is unlike anything you can precisely (nor neatly) define.

A centerpiece single from Strawberry Mountain’s album centered around a breakup that deeply affected Carter Prince, “In Time” goes backwards & forwards across the chronological scales & metric measurements that reinforces the weird & mysterious ways in which the past informs the future & present. All involved aspects of instrumentation take off in a flight that gauges what these sentimental memories mean, the ways in which they affect us and how intimate entanglements & departures cause other latent moments of nostalgia to surface. An almost unhinged type of rare honesty takes over lyrically on a track that tries to keep up with the rapid rate of feelings recollected that are hurtled at the listener in expedient succession. From deep seeded fears of abandonment, the rhythmic pacing of running in attempts to ditch the memory of another; Carter illustrates a certain sort of numbness that is typically reserved for therapist sessions spent in hour long reflection & revelation. Through the illustrated upheavals presented from the painfully earnest expressions, Strawberry Mountain keeps the entire arrangement inspired, innovative & incredibly expansive. “In Time” plays off the notion of time healing all wounds that becomes a platform of expressive inequities painted in sequences of seemingly litanies that then dissolves with a skipping & sped up sample of The Righteous Brothers’ immortal “Unchained Melody” that brings everything to a striking & memorable close.

Carter Prince shared the following exclusive reflections on the new single:

“In Time” is the first track on the album because, though it takes place chronologically at the end of this story, there is one line that I feel informs the rest of the album: Love now seems like a cliché notion but I think it’s still deep beneath the surface. I felt more alone when my long term partner left me than when my father left me alone at the house for a weekend coke binge when I was 10. The line was initially intended as morbid humor but through this deeply personal admittance, it displayed an honest realization of the impact of a relationship and the inherent importance in processing it.

Catching up with Strawberry Mountain’s Carter Prince; press photo courtesy of the artist.

This song, as well as most of the other songs on the album, is about someone I shared 10% of my entire life with. The concept of a breakup album classically seems whiny, obsessive and perhaps self-indulgent and yes—the world likely does need less of them. But that specific line gave me new zeal to try to breathe fresh air into what an obsessive self-indulgent breakup album really can be.

Strawberry Mountain’s single “In Time” will be available February 23 with their upcoming full-length …and she exploded into color arriving soon.

Catch the band playing February 23 at Seattle’s Stone Way Cafe.

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