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iTunes Review

An aura of occult seduction hangs over Badwater. Previous releases have found the Chicago combo tapping into a languid, blues-dipped vein reminiscent of Cowboy Junkies and Mazzy Star. The band’s latest project advances along the same lines, but with better melodic definition and more cogent arrangements. Marie-Claire Balabanian’s sultry vocals remain the band’s focal point, with Karl Briedrick’s insinuating guitar lines, Linda Malonis’ furtive keyboards, and Chris Dyes’ jazz-inflected drums providing plenty of texture. Badwater’s songs are painted in pastel shades, hinting at volatile emotions beneath hazy sonic washes. Balabanian projects a darkly erotic persona as she veers from the narcotized chug of “Caught Up” to the slow psychedelic swirl of “Young Eyes” and the film noir slinkiness of “Live It Down.” The title tune picks up altitude thanks to buoyant guitar work and a nervous groove, while “Watch the Storm” takes listeners into misty interior spaces that recall Bare Trees–era Fleetwood Mac. All told, Speck Mountain weaves a spell on Badwater with an enraptured air, matched by a clear sense of purpose.

Customer Reviews

Album of the year!!

One of my favorite bands of all time. I've been listening to Speck Mountain's ethereal, blissed-out sound for years now but Badwater is next level. Dusty, sultry, smoky, reverb-drenched desert rock that sounds like a little bit of heaven recorded. And they're even better live. Get lost in beauty.

Sooo good!!!

Love it! I heard Speck Mountain play live with Sharon Van Etten a few months ago and I really liked them and I have been waiting to buy their new album. So happy Young Eyes is on it. It's my fave. The whole album is great though. Highly recommend.


taking some time to soak it in, more electric than the others, really love guitar solo in badwater


Formed: 2005 in New York, NY

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

The dreamy soundscapes of Speck Mountain first took shape in Brooklyn, NY, where founding members Karl Briedrick (guitar) and Marie-Claire Balabanian (vocals, bass) held their first rehearsals in 2005. Evoking the vocals of Mazzy Star's Hope Sandoval and the lush orchestrations of space rock, the band honed its sound while playing with temporary member Jackie Ciliberti (organ/electric piano). Ciliberti was later replaced by multi-instrumentalist Kate Walsh, and the trio relocated to Chicago. Summer...
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Badwater, Speck Mountain
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Customer Ratings