Mountain was announced rather unexpectedly several months ago, after a long wait. Singer-songwriter Howie Payne had not released any music since 2009, and many had given up on him, so his latest album announcement came as something of a shock, with fans excitedly wondering what had changed for Payne in those eight years.
By Jane Howkins
Thankfully, fans shouldn’t find themselves disappointed by Mountain, as it’s not too different from his previous solo album, whilst still managing to be a step forward. Before its release, Payne claimed that it was his ‘best album to date’, and although all artists say that before releasing their latest record, it really does seem to be true this time, and is even on the same level of his work with band The Stand, despite having a different style to it.
The name of the game here is ‘Americana’, and whilst there is something typically nostalgic about that genre of folk, it never sounds dated with Payne. There are obviously a lot of older influences here, and we can hear sounds from The Beach Boys, The Beatles, and Bob Dylan throughout, however elements of newer artists such as Fleet Foxes, Laura Marling, and Johnny Flynn are also present, and the mix of the two eras makes for a great sound when put altogether.
Howie Payne is one of those understated singer-songwriters, deserving of a lot more recognition than popular ones such like the Ed Sheeran copycats. We highly recommend checking his music out if you are into folk/singer-songwriter music of any kind, as he’s one of the better artists from those genres at the moment.
Mountain by Howie Payne is out now.