Little Mountain is the creation of Ross Godfrey, a member of trip hoppers, Morcheeba. With his partner, Amanda Zamolo, Godfrey had become a bit of a California Dreamer when, spending time in Santa Cruz, he began to write a song that for him captured some of the golden era of Laurel Canyon on the cusp of the sixties and seventies. The song, Catch Me was recorded by the pair with assistance from Will Sprott of The Mumlers and Dan Joeright (Drummer for Jim White and David Byrne) before Godfrey and Zamolo returned to the UK. Back home they cast about for a third member and a serendipitous moment occurred when they chanced upon a busker on London’s Southbank. Impressed, they invited Ste Forshaw to sit in with them resulting in him becoming the third leg of the tripod that is Little Mountain.
Forshaw adds an earthy tone to Godfrey’s LA haze, a yin to his yan perhaps and together the trio have crafted an album that ripples with sunshine melodies and harmonies allied to a strong beating heart rooted in a more Anglicised folk idiom. Godfrey embellishes the album with a plethora of instruments (vintage guitars , early synthesisers and Hammond Organs, bass, lap steel and drums) offering a texture that is warm and enveloping, at times recalling Steven Stills’ bluesy organic style as on the organ driven Hide Me From The Darkness. Elsewhere his experience with Morcheeba is utilised as he wraps Zamolo’s voice in a warm electronica fuzziness that’s not a million miles removed from early Beth Orton on What We Gonna Do. While Forshaw comes across more as a ploughboy than a cowboy on the folky Even More and the short instrumental Sound Mirror is like Pentangle meeting Portishead the meat here is in the swampy sludge of You Never Know and the keening harmonies of the opening song, Giving it Up. Altogether a fine listen.