Published Apr 16, 2020There's a dream-like quality to the thought of stumbling through a crowd now, of bumping shoulders with strangers and feeling the air get heavy with the smell of beer and bodies. This isolation is defined by a pervasive longing — for connection, for the world, for time wasted in the company of others.
Amos Nadlersmith couldn't have predicted any of this when he wrote Mountain View, his debut EP as Amos the Kid. It's an improbably prescient collection, steeped in yearning for family and friends, for the way things used to be and the world outside the window, suddenly so far away.
The first release from House of Wonders — the Winnipeg studio/label run by Yes We Mystic's Adam Fuhr — Mountain View's five songs hum with warmth, a glittering series of vignettes that somehow evoke both the smallness of home and the enormity of the wilderness. "Jesus Cocaine Ketamine Christ" already feels like a minor Manitoba classic, a sly meditation on growing up in the church that's neither heavy-handed nor vindictive. "Church basement casserole / more holy than that bible / and that's what I learned in Sunday school," is a sterling example of Nadlersmith's lyrical style — specific and illustrative, funny and a bit sad.
The rest of the EP follows suit — economic, richly-produced gems padded by keyboards, country-flavoured guitar and swooping backing vocals courtesy of Yes We Mystic's Jensen Fridfinnson. The fingerpicked title track is a swirl of hard and soft textures that features liquid lead guitar by Living Hour's Adam Soloway, while "Pine Grove" is an exhale of blooming keys, an elemental love song that shimmers with sunlight.
The voicemail confessional "Wilderness Treasure" closes out the EP on the drift of some wide, indistinct nostalgia — for summer, for childhood and young love, for the great outdoors. It strikes at the heart of Nadlersmith's music — melancholic and hopeful, insular and expanding. So while the bars don't smell like sweat anymore and the beaches and trails are free of shoeprints, there's still this — the connective power of memory and sound and the faith that, someday, we'll all be in the sun again. (House of Wonders)