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Mountain Man

Touring debut album 'Made The Harbor', this all girl trio talks to Dazed Digital about an acapella SXSW set and living in cabin deep in the Green Mountain National Forest

Molly Sarle, Alex Sauser-Monnig and Amelia Meath might appear to be a trio of modest recent college graduates to the untrained eye (or the deaf passersby) but they are Mountain Man. This year past saw the release of their debut LP, 'Made The Harbor', and there has been an appropriately enormous respect paid to the maidenly triumvirate since. Everyone wants in on Mountain Man and, funnily enough, everyone doesn’t seem to realise that they might just be able to give us everything. Theirs is the concord of three voices triangulating the centre point of their great geographical heritage – with the guitar occasionally tagging along because it knows it’s in for a good ride – and in making melodies which advance far beyond the dejected acoustics of production line folk, Mountain Man has created a kind of lyric so unquestionably human that each of their listeners continue with life in the moments between their verses. These girls are showing us how to live, and that is some pretty heavy stuff, so Dazed Digital sat down virtually with Alex Sauser-Monnig and discussed the mechanics of being tremendous.

Dazed Digital: Everyone who encounters your songs rises up to embrace them, and I know the humanity and honesty of your music is something that is often remarked on. I hear stories of you at SXSW abandoning your mikes in the midst of drunken cacophony, singing acapella and people flocking to you. What's the crux the sound you three make? Is it this honesty? 

Alex Sauser-Monnig: Yes. I feel confident speaking for the three of us when I say that honesty is the foundation of our music and flows through it and through our interactions with each other. We like to imagine a world where honesty is the basis of all human, interspecies and intraplanetary interaction. 

DD: You are all in an isolated cabin deep in the Green Mountain National Forest; Amelia is eating a sandwich, Molly is hashing out a song in the corner and Alex is making strawberry jam. Which one of you brought the Mariah Carey cassette playing in the background?

Alex Sauser-Monnig: How do you know these things about us? I feel as though you have been living as a fly on our wall, or as a tick on my imaginary dog. Before this interview, I was gathering berries to make jam, which I have since made. Amelia is always eating a sandwich, usually involving bacon, avocado, cambozola cheese and/or a fried egg. Molly is always often hashing a song out in a corner. We all bring the Mariah Carey. We all BRING the Mariah Carey.

DD: Have these milkweed hymns always been inside of you three, or are they something you found together?

Alex Sauser-Monnig: We have all always sung, alone with ourselves and with others. But sometimes people come together in a beautiful, balanced way. Each of our voices and personalities and imaginations lock together into a solid, well oiled piece of something, like the gears of a clock. We are lucky enough to be experiencing that with one another.

DD: Tell me about Vermont - so is it where you all grew up? What's it like? How much of it is in the music?

Alex Sauser-Monnig: Actually none of us are from Vermont. I am from the great state of Minnesota, which I am happy to tell you about. Minnesota experiences each season equally and in total perfection. There are over 10,000 lakes, so we are canoers and fisherpeople and swimmers. I am from the Twin Cities, and they are fairly ideal as far as cities go. Amelia is from Cambridge, Massachusetts and Molly is from California, ideal in most minds. Vermont is extremely beautiful though, and it is where we all met. I think that every place that we have lived and loved and connected with as individuals is in the music, like a breeze through a screen in a window on a summer's night.

Mountain Man will be touring through the United Kingdom from mid-August