Ural Mt. Valley

by Matt Southern

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1.
Back Into Me 03:32
You made me whole made me weak left for dead go back to sleep its over now In the morning sweep the pieces in a pile and begin the sorting out Curse the cut curse the smile cut the flowers Count the hours that are lost for good Sift a river under beds follow threads through the dark back to the spool I know that eventually You're gonna find your way Back into me Hard to be yourself when you feel that the mirror's always looking back Sever tethers lose the self in the white noise but keep a tiny core intact You made me whole made me weak left for dead go back to sleep its over now In the morning sweep the pieces in a pile and begin the sorting out I know that eventually You're gonna find your way Back into me When the sun falls over When the moon falls over When the stars fall in the sea
2.
Hold me over the fire So I can feel the truth of the light Make me stay out late, drinking So I can feel the truth of the night We're getting old, getting older, together We're getting old, getting older, together Write our names in cement When the city fixes the driveway What could be more human than vanity marks Willing someone to remember We're getting old, getting older, together We're getting old, getting older, together Baby it's cold outside, baby it's cold outside and I want to go home, take me home Argue over shades of blue It means everything and nothing at all Missing your voice tonight Listen for the phantom call We're getting old, getting older, together We're getting old, getting older, together We're getting old, getting older, together
3.
Rosa 03:53
Rosa Sister of mine How high you fly your kite Past lives Known for what they were Helpless and absurd Oh didn't we dream Rosa Dreamed of resurrection Failed to find protection from an awful scene The moon will lay you bare and the crows will pick you clean In the Ural Mountains Young lovers living in their dreams Poppies bloom in the valley Bliss hazy in the love love love Young lovers filling up their cup The Ural Mountain valley in bloom
4.
Waiting in an empty well For the water's rising How do the rain clouds swell Outside myself a million little wheels Keep themselves a-turning Return to you in my new form Inside your walls a part of me reborn It's all right to live without an answer It's all right to live without an answer There's plenty of light to go around Inside myself a million little wheels Always keep me guessing Which of me shines true in the new born day Inside these walls which part of me must stay Hidden from view the sleeper awaits Carefully cautiously planning the escape It's all right to live without an answer It's all right to live without an answer There's plenty of light to go around
5.

about

Valleys in bloom, stars falling into the sea, poppies and lovers and crows—such pastoral visions abound in Ural Mt. Valley, the new EP that Raleigh musician Matt Southern will celebrate with a free release show at The Pour House on Saturday afternoon. Even its title—which refers to the mountain range that cuts through the heart of Russia, a blurry boundary between Europe and Asia—suggests a faraway, perhaps Edenic refuge in the tundra.

Over five tracks, Southern crafts this mood with crisp yet languorous arrangements beneath dreamlike narrations. Double-tracked acoustic guitars pick and strum around the edges of the mix, brightening the landscape, while low distortion occasionally threatens to well up from below, as it does on the centerpiece, “Rosa,” which hints at a darkness behind the paradise.

“The moon will lay you bare, and the crows will pick you clean,” Southern warns.

But for the most part, Ural Mt. Valley is about finding a brief reprieve from harsh reality. “Older Together” is a tender country ballad dedicated to growing old with a partner, while “Million Little Wheels,” with its droning, John Fahey-style fingerpicking and Laurel Canyon harmonies, gives us permission to feel a little lost: “It’s all right to live without an answer,” Southern sings. “There’s plenty of light to go around.”

There is hope in the valley, but it’s born from exhaustion, and sometimes, the best thing you can do is to “turn out the lights and call it a day.” Southern acknowledges that these respites may be temporary, even illusory. But that doesn’t stop them from being necessary.

-Will Atkinson, INDY WEEK

credits

released February 28, 2020

Matt Southern: music
Jenny Southern: art layout
Alphonse Mucha: cover illustration

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