Speck Mountain

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 Above, Speck Mountain's self-produced debut, was released in 2006 by Burnt Brown Sounds, a Chicago-based label run by Briedrick and Balabanian. Although the co-leaders continued to run the label, Speck Mountain soon signed a deal with Carrot Top Records, which issued the engaging follow-up effort Some Sweet Relief in March 2009. ~ Andrew Leahey

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