"a voice for the ineffable that must be heard" an "artist of the deepest importance" describe the band Big Thief, friends and fans, in an introduction to Twain's album Rare Feeling. Said album "Rare Feeling" will see a European release May 25 through BB*ISLAND.
Twain is the solo project of Mt. (Mat) Davidson, a tender and evocative singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. He has previously worked with the likes of The Low Anthem, The Deslondes and Spirit Family Reunion. Mt. Davidson, originally from Virginia has started in the mids-2000s to write and self-record under the name Twain. His first attempts were self-released song collections In 2010 he put out , Love Is All Around, and it's his first attempt to bring in those people who still form the Twain band on the newest album: Ken Woodard on basses, Peter Pezzimenti on drums, plus soundengineer as band member Adrian Olson (Natalie Prass, Matthew E. White, Flo Morrissey, Foxygen) . Though the first album where a specific Twain band sound starts blooming is Life Labors In The Choir, still self-released in 2014. It took a while but slowly this album found its audience, and admirers in the US indie-folk-circuit. With two EPs following through his bandcampsite and more and more demand for his remarkable stage presence continued to build recognition. Now Rare Feeling is the first official release through a label, which is for America Keeled Scales and for Europe BB*ISLAND.
"...Then I listened to it one more time and came to realise it’s the finest album I’ve been passed since I first started reviewing albums some 10 years ago." (Scott Baxter at americana-uk 10/10 review)
Bio by Buck Meek (Big Thief) & Mt. Davidson (Twain):
Have you ever…
…faced an impossible question, to be answered at once by a kaleidoscope of wind, diffusing your bewilderment into thousands of spinning bulbs?
…awoken to hear the person sleeping beside you speaking a language they do not speak in their waking life?
…felt your legs possessed, to throw you across the room in shapes?
…lost your heart, only to find it on the bank of a cold spring, in the hands of a filling station attendant, or in the dust swimming through the light of your bedroom window?
Have you ever listened to Twain?
“A lonely day, I went outside to smoke awhile,
and think about a picture in a book:
He was laying in the grass in his suit,
as the angler posed in pursuit of the fish”
For the past decade or so, Mt. Davidson has cultivated his songs and sounds, attempting to create a bridge, a meeting place, between the terrestrial and the mystic. He is a ponderous and delicate sort of creature, short and vaguely leonine, who has spent most of his young life abiding in the midlands of transcendence.
“Oh to be there, the smell of her hair,
the deer swimming through the watery woods,
life won’t last long for those who hate it,
for those who love it, it lingers on like a dream”
Following its quiet self-release in 2014, his fifth and most recent LP, Life Labors in the Choir, has steadily gained devoted listeners throughout the globe and continues to blossom today. The album describes a marked evolution in an alluring yet strange and hesitant discography. Progressing from the bashfully childlike sounds of 2005’s Madeline, (now lost), through self-constructed garage multi-track tangles of Sleeping Tree (2007) and Almanack (2008), we hear the progress of a young man struggling to free himself from the shackles of depression and neurosis. In 2010’s Love is All Around, a distinct breakthrough can be felt in the form of a question that challenges the foundation of the doubt and fear running through the early music. This sudden evolution is in no small part owing to the addition of two musicians – Peter Pezzimenti (drums and vibes) and Ken Woodward (basses) – and a sound engineer – Adrian Olsen. The music really began to breathe.
“Free’d from doubt, my cigarette went out,
the sun came out and warmed up the house,
oh to be fainting into that painting,
as I wrap up the tune and bring it to you”
Now, Twain will release a new record of songs - Rare Feeling - on Keeled Scales (for the US) and BB*ISLAND (for Europe). These recordings have been gently fermenting for an extended period of time, and are now ready for consumption. The foundation of the record was captured in a tool shed by the great magi-bard, S. McMicken (Dr. Dog), using ancient and secret methods of time distortion. The resultant reels were then brought to Richmond VA, where master engineer and sound-seeker Adrian Olsen guided the songs into completion. As with the previous LP, the band has labored to present a purely AAA analog disc, and is eager for you to experience the special magnetic warmth that results from the process. (We once again are indebted to the mysterious and mighty Paul Gold of Salt Mastering for his kind attention).
(Lyrics from “Freed from Doubt”, from Rare Feeling)