Thomas Mudrick - Over The Hills (Single) TDRCO-067
Digital Download (Lossless + MP3)
Over The Hills (Single)
Release Date: August 29, 2014
Not content to sit on his proverbial laurels for long, Oregon’s frequently prolific prodigal son Thomas Mudrick is back with his new single "Over the Hills", a meandering rural swirl of a tune that’s one part whimsy and one part sand in your walking shoes. Forerunning another full-length set for October 2014 release (Abiqua, for Portland’s Ten Dollar Recording Co.), "Over the Hills" follows up the three previous full-length releases Mudrick has managed to put to wax over the past year or so, all stellar, as well as releases from group project Nodding Tree Remedies. Ever the musical chameleon, Mudrick is never content to linger too long on any one sound, idea, or aesthetic, instead choosing to effortlessly cull together frayed musical ends and dog-eared stylistics with all the ease and intent of, say, Mellow Gold-era Beck, though with a decidedly Cascadian deep woods freak slant. "Over the Hills" shouldn’t disappoint fans of Mudrick’s previous work, and will surely be part and parcel to another great album from a musical tune-bender sui generis.
Taking it back to the back roads, "Over the Hills" is all easy folk flow and a straight-ahead progression that lets itself unravel as it wants, with nowhere in particular to get to and longer still to hang out, though the track never overstays its welcome. Upbeat and hum-worthy, what "Over the Hills" boasts by the handful is a fluent country-fried cadence crossbred with a languid swagger that walks the line somewhere between road-weary grit and bright-eyed optimism. The juxtaposition is just aided by drawling slide guitar diddles and sweetened call and response vocal sing-along pieces. "Over the Hills" is simple enough to get the point across without needing to say much to the listener at large, and speaking to the lyrical front, the track never opens up outside of a few lines of verse about hills and the West and doing it all again. And again.
More than just easy listening for the hiking and hash-pipe set, "Over the Hills" is, like a lot of Mudrick’s other songs, reflective and deeper than at first listen. Mudrick has the proven talent and ability to musically shape shift at will, though after much listening to his work, tracks like "Over the Hills" seem perhaps closest to some sort of artistic arc - freak-folk at the core, slightly bleary in the eyes, but played with some fire and full of wonder at the scope of it all. Good stuff: check this one out and keep an ear to the ground for the full-length out October 16, 2014. And get your hiking boots on. (REED BURNAM, Sep 3, 2014)