The National's Aaron and Bryce Dessner Contribute to Debut Album from Complete Mountain Almanac

BY Calum SlingerlandPublished Jan 10, 2023

Aaron and Bryce Dessner, the twin brothers of Ohio outfit the National, will soon appear on a new album from Complete Mountain Almanac, the duo of their sister Jessica Dessner and composer Rebekka Karijord. The group will share their self-titled debut on January 27 via Bella Union.

The 12 songs of Complete Mountain Almanac are each named for a month of the year, in line with Karijord's initial idea to create a 12-suite collection about climate change that represents "the inherent healing cycle of nature."

Shortly after Karijord approached Jessica Dessner to helm visual elements for the project, her collaborator was diagnosed with breast cancer. Both the concern for climate and nature, and the experience of personal illness and healing, worked to form "an existential common ground" in the women's collaboration.

Recorded by Karijord and the Dessners at Paris' St. Germain studios, Complete Mountain Almanac is said to cycle through folk, classical, chamber music and "everything in between" to create "a cocoon-like atmosphere that draws the listener into a stand-alone universe."

"February" is the first song to arrive from the album, and you can hear it below. As Jessica Dessner explains, "'February' is a song that began as a reckoning with the profound physical changes wrought by breast cancer and how they threaten to dismantle every aspect of life, and yet, somehow the spirit rises, remains constant, immutable, a force, like nature."

Karijord adds: "To me, 'February' is like an ancient myth. A road trip dance, moving between vulnerability and resilience. It journeys through layers of odd meters, restlessness and mystery, and then lands in a musical landscape of acceptance and clarity."

Complete Mountain Almanac was co-produced by Karijord, and Aaron and Bryce Dessner. The latter brother is also behind string arrangements for six of the songs, performed by the Malmö Symphony Orchestra.

Pre-order Complete Mountain Almanac.

Complete Mountain Almanac:

1. January
2. February
3. March
4. April
5. May
6. June
7. July
8. August
9. September
10. October
11. Novemebr
12. December

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