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Mountain Rock

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Album Review

One could get frustrated with the short lengths of Dear Nora's precious indie pop. But with songs that are so emotionally sincere as they are on Mountain Rock, it's hard to be bitter. Performed and recorded by Katy Davidson in rural Arizona (her home state), she shifts from her band's girl group-inspired indie pop to heart-on-sleeve solo introspection. Dear Nora's second full-length and fifth overall release on Magic Marker couldn't get much more personal and quiet. Sticking only to placid acoustic guitar and Davidson's softhearted voice, Mountain Rock plays as a "life cycle," beginning with "Living Song" and ending with "Suicide Song." The pieces are short and sometimes seem unfinished, but even on the two-minute "Caribou, Timberwolf," Davidson has such an effective frankness that it's excusable. The following track, "Give Me Some of Yr Love," which is upbeat despite an absence of a full band, gets cut off, almost as if Davidson realized it was too happy for such a solemn record. A hidden outtake returns the felicity with a group singalong, perhaps to remind her that she's not so alone.


Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

The power pop/punk "cuddle-core" trio Dear Nora is comprised of Katy Davidson (vocals/guitar), Ryan Wise (bass), and Marianna Ritchey (drums). All three bandmembers had gone to college together at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR, where they had each played in various bands, including the Navins, Ring of Seventeen, and Junction City. Wise, Ritchey, and local Portland musician Jake Longstreth were also previously members of a group called Wolf Colonel, and Ritchey and Davidson were freshman-year...
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Mountain Rock, Dear Nora
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