The Brooklyn-based Common Prayer is the new project of Jason Russo (of Hopewell) and Alexandra Marvar (with John Anderson and Karen Codd joining them live). I’ll just say it simply and ineloquently: the new album, There Is A Mountain, is the best stuff I’ve heard in awhile. Last night, I put the 11-track release on repeat and loved every recurring second of it.
This music sounds earthy and feels free, stomping barefoot through frolicking guitar, organic percussion, and sing-around-the-campfire lyrics. “Sara G” quirkily skips back and forth among its various layers: random laughs, a female chorus, a cabasa that keeps the beat. On the gospel-driven “Everything & More,” the duo poignantly harmonizes, “We may never pass this way again/ this could be the last time, my friend…” If ever there were music about living in the right here and now, this is it.
The first single, “Us vs. Them,” is a slow-paced, bluesy romp featuring standout piano and a laid back attitude. It’s notably different than the aforementioned songs, but that’s the beauty of Common Prayer: it’s never the same thing twice.
There Is A Mountain is out now digitally in the U.S. and will be out on Big Potato Records in the U.K. July 19, 2010.
Watch video of “Us vs. Them”: