Hinindar is the melancholic folk project of Toronto-based Steve Sloane, and Wake Up as a Mountain is his second full-length record (after 2013's Honest Work, also independently released).
The new record boasts some neat arrangements and warm, clear production (especially considering it was recorded in a shipping container), and Sloane's soft, elfin voice and nuanced arrangements make for very pleasant listening. The piano playing is a highlight on "Wake Up as a Mountain," "Son of a Building" and "How to Sleep," and "Heaven is Gone" stands out for the solo electric guitar instead of acoustic.
The title track seems to be about realizing one's own flaws with the line, "I walk on people more than they do me," but the self-criticism is raw and offers little resolution — unfortunately emblematic of Sloane's oft-abstruse lyrics. "The Moon Again" tells a story of a night out drinking and regrettable actions, though the specific actions aren't clear: A one-night stand? A reunion with an ex? An overdose, even? The personal pronouns indicate dialogue it happened with another, but the last line about an ambulance ends the song with more questions than answers, and not in a good way.
One general way to improve would be for Sloane to take a cold, hard look at his storytelling: What kinds of stories are being told? And for whom? Introspection and self-searching are fine, but they gain real power when your own experiences can be opened up for others to lose and/or find themselves in. For now, we at least have a record that sounds very nice. The other stuff will surely follow as this artist continues to grow. (Independent)