I Am Mountain

The Best Part - About The Song

I awoke to a mess of curly hair atop a pink princess dress peaking around our bedroom door. She scuffled to the bed and crawled her way onto her Daddy’s chest, head tucked into his neck. “I think I should eat an Oreo,” she whispered.

Good morning of a new year.

I lay there thinking about the past year – the traveling, the shows, breathtaking places we had seen, songs written, mistakes, failures, accomplishments. We have had the privilege of visiting some of the most incredible places; been able to share beautiful musical experiences with people all over the world. It has been amazing to say the least. And I’m filled with gratitude.

And then I think of the times no one else sees. The equally tough and magical moments our tiny family of three share: Dancing around the house wild to one of our favorite musicals. The ecstatic joy when our daughter learned to draw an “A.” Walking around the house on Daddy’s feet. Michael and I finding ourselves slow dancing in the kitchen after a long hard day. Lying awake at night, just letting the silence comfort. Cuddling in a pile of blankets on the sofa after a long time being away from home, sun coming in the window just right, and seeing my girl twirling around the house, stopping just a moment to shoot a smile my way. These are the best parts. The tiny moments that sparkle and beg for our attention. The moment like this one here, waking to a new year with this man that has seen the very best and worst of me, and a small raggedy wide-eyed girl kissing our faces while recalling her night dreams.

God, I don’t want those moments to end. And I don’t want to miss them by looking for the next grand thing. It’s the practice of seeing. Seeing what is right in front of me in it’s fullest. The practice of feeling it all. It’s easy to look toward some future amazing and miss the magic right in front of me.

The song “The Best Part” was written because of these moments. In the band, we joke how it ended up being “the sex jam” when it was inspired from family moments. But it was a one-take deal. In the studio, we got in a circle, played it, and it just felt right. We tried re-recording a few things, fixing the mistakes or the parts we didn’t like. But cutting it up just ruined the vibe that was present.

Sometimes the cheesy-ness of parallels makes me cringe. The “You know, when I was a kid, I fell in a ditch”...story goes on and on...then....” but you know, life will have all kinds of ditches, it’s how you climb out that counts.” Cringe.

BUT. I can’t help but make a parallel between how this song was recorded and what it means to me (I apologize if you are cringing). There were little things I wanted to change: less vibrato here, less breath there, better tone. But picking it apart sucked the feeling right out. We couldn’t re-invent the “togetherness,” or vibe that happened in the moment. Parts of life are grand, magical, the Eifel tower, the Mount Everest. And some parts are the regular and ordinary; the inconsistencies and flaws that speak to our humanness. I love that this song speaks of the ordinary moments that have become some of the best parts of my life. It wouldn’t be amazing if they were taken out.

This song is for my two great loves, Michael and Amelie...and one other sweet one on the way.

Wandering - About The Song

I used to think there would be a time in my life where I would feel like I had arrived.  Like finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow or reaching the mountain’s summit.  The long exhale out of all I had worked for, breath in of satisfaction.  I would feel content and certain, have the trophy with the inscription “Lisa Gungor has completed said task with moderate skills and semi-good attitude.” I’d see the grand path of the future laid out clearly with all the right answers. No question marks. But I’m finding these moments are fleeting. I feel the summit, then the mountain augments, another journey begins. I find the gold, the key, the thread of truth that unlatches every thing. This is the thing I have been looking for, this is what makes sense of it all.  Clarity is everywhere. Then the thread unravels, leading to other threads that are tangled and weaving a fabric of complex chaos. I find the gold, but rather, it is gold foil-covered Hershey’s chocolate...the worst kind of chocolate.

Last summer, I went on a silent retreat that took me from one of the most wandering of places to clarity.  But the clarity was more making peace with the wandering rather than finding all the answers…which, I think, is a good place to be in. A wandering that wasn’t so scary - more like exploring space with a tether, rather than flailing off into the abyss. More grateful for finding the corner of the map than no map at all. But it took an opening of the hands for this to happen.

I never knew how clenched my fists were until I had to let go. And yes, I had to let go. Some foundational ideals I was holding were actually hurting me.  Poisoning any healthy growth.  I continually wanted to go back to what I knew, what was familiar.  But eventually the tape used to hold cracks together would fail, and I would get angry all over again at the ideals I had just let go of. The going back sends me into a tail-spin every time…dragging me under to a place Michael likes to call “crazy town,” though I prefer to call “the deep dark abyss of death.”  …dramatic yet appropriate.

On this retreat, I remember climbing to the top of a hill, long before the sun was up. I waited.  And I watched in awe as the sky began to glow with shades of orange, then burning crimson, light crawling along the valley and then up the hills.  I looked down at my clenched fists.  I saw worry, uncertainty, doubt…fear. Loads and loads of fear. I was afraid if I opened the hands that I would lose ground and never find anything to stand on, that I would just keep slipping.

But I had to.  It felt a lot like jumping off a cliff. Like leaping over an edge that doesn't necessarily have a landing point. Like someone asking “Do you want to leave your family, your friends, everything you’ve ever known, and start a new life on the moon?”  The unknown. Total uncertainty.  I was headed to the moon. I knew something was shifting in my soul and it was a choice. As I opened up my hands, letting go of all that was holding me, the ground I had been floating on shifted and became solid. The air became breath.  The world became mystery and goodness. My soul felt an unimaginable freedom. And the doubt that I thought was in opposition to my faith actually took on a different face - once that leads to truth.

I stayed there for hours, sun coming up, beautiful world awakening. After years of throwing punches, the uncertainty of life and I had a long chat and found we could actually be friends. Some people may have found their life has one destination, but I’ve found mine has had several, and still more to come.

God and Country - About The Song

I used to be a pacifist, but then I had a kid. I do still believe that non-violence is always the better option, but I just think that there are times when complete non-violence becomes impossible in certain circumstances.  If someone breaks into my house, yes, I'm going to do whatever I need to do to protect my wife and my daughter.

But what I find incredibly ironic and perverse is how religion and violence often get tangled up together.  It boggles my mind that, in the US at least, it is often the "God fearing Christians" that are the most trigger happy, pro-war people on the planet.  That would be like if a group of Richard Dawkins followers started a new theistic religion with Dawkins books.  It would be precisely the opposite effect that Dawkins intended with his writing.

While the American Jesus of the political right in the US tends to be a homophobic grouch with a shotgun in his hand, the Jesus of the Gospels was nonviolent.  That's just painfully obvious in the writings, and so curiously missing from the religious views of people who like to claim that they take the whole Bible literally. Jesus taught his followers to turn their cheek and pray for their enemies and warned that those who live by the sword die by the sword.  I mean, remember that whole thing with the cross...?  Jesus was not a person who KILLED people, who was someone who was KILLED by people for his message that Rome's sword would not have the final word.  That's kind of the main Christian thing… Love triumphs over evil.  Right?

God and Country is a lament of the violence that so much of our lives and our world is built on.  It is, in fact, perhaps the most "Christian" song on this album to me.

The song imagines a war between two lands and is told through the eyes of a daughter and a father who both lost somebody they love on opposite sides of the conflict.  A daughter loses her father and a father loses his son.  Both the girl and the father seem to have a disdain for the war.  They don't know what in hell they are even fighting for, but it seems the girl's people from "the East" have justified the war by thinking that they are tasked by the gods to set the native people from the West free, and in the process, they just happen to find land, oil and prosperity.  The father from the West hates this war just like the daughter from the East does.  He doesn't care about things like land or money, but now that these foreign monsters have taken his son, he's pissed and ready to gather up his God and his guns as well.

The distinction between gods and God here is to demonstrate how our different languages and beliefs get tangled up in our politics.  Yet, everyone tends to place themselves at the center of the good and true.  Both sides pray for victory.  Both sides see themselves as justified.  And our differences in language make us think that we are fighting fundamentally different than ourselves.  But we are not.  We are all fathers and sons and mothers and daughters.  We're all human.  We all want the same things.

How many millions of people need to be needlessly slaughtered in war before we see that the whole idea of war is outrageous and ridiculous?

How many school shootings do we have to endure before we realize that our guns are inherently a bad thing?

This is not to say that war and guns are always avoidable with the current set of circumstances on planet earth.  The sad fact is that there are millions of guns in America, and they aren't going anywhere anytime soon.  There's no amount of lamenting or legislating that is going to change that.  But what gets me is when religious people seem to think that this is a GOOD thing!  It is not a good thing!  War may be unavoidable now and then at this point in history because of our hard hearts and feeble minds, but war is never a good thing.  It is an evil. It is a plague on creation, and it should NEVER be associated with religion on any level.

When I look at things like gun legislation in America, I get pretty bummed out.  All the "answers" of the different parties seem entirely futile and hopeless.  This country was birthed in blood and it's sustained in blood.  We are intrinsically a violent people.  I don't think external laws will be able to fix that.  But most people in America also call themselves CHRISTians.  So, perhaps a little change could start to come if those who claim the name of Christ would pay a little attention to what he actually said.  Maybe if those who called themselves Christians started seeing violence as a bad thing rather than a good thing, a little progress could be made somewhere down the road.

Yesternight - About The Song

What is life without stories?  Nothing. Random collisions of energy.  Stories are what give our lives shape and meaning.  We are made of stories.  So what happens when we lose our most important stories? The stories we define ourselves by. What happens, for instance, when a young quarterback has worked his entire life for his work...who has essentially defined himself as first and foremost a quarterback...then suddenly breaks his leg and is told he will never play football again?  What happens to him when he suddenly finds himself without that story anymore? Or think of a mother who finds her life's meaning in her children and then she loses her children...  That's not just a change of circumstances, it's a rupture that happens deep in the foundations of whatever makes us who we are.

The loss of our most important stories is a profoundly visceral and potentially life-devastating experience.

This is what the song "Yesternite" speaks to.

Yesterday the gods were smiling down on me

Yesterday the angels graced the glassy sea 

The world was bathed in black and mystery

Yesterday 

 

Yesternite the gods they disappeared from sight 

The angles flapped their wings and took their songs to flight 

The shadows lift their hands and praise the light 

Praise the light 

 

Yesterday your hands were home in mine 

Yesterday my heart was yours to find 

Yesternite I found some peace of mind 

Yesternite 

 

And so the morning finally shed its light 

The mourning of the loss 

The sacred fight 

Sunbeams lift their hands and praise the night 

Praise the night 

There have been people that have been confused to my repetitive use of the word "gods" on this album.  Some have actually wondered if I now adhere to some sort of polytheistic new age worldview or something. If you read this blog, you will probably know that this is certainly not the case. Throughout the album, I use "gods" as an example of the mythological constructs that we use to comfort ourselves and give our lives meaning.  Stories that we thought were true, but no longer are.  Stories that we lived by, defined ourselves with, but can no longer believe in.  Whether it's the gods that are lost in "Yesternite" or the gods that we gather up to defeat our enemies in "God and Country", or the gods in "The Beat of Her Heart" that let Orpheus down.. the "gods" are always found to never really come through for us.  The football player loses his identity as a football player. The mother is no longer a mother and something of the self is truly lost.

Yesternite was written as a reflection of a deep experience of loss that I had. The light had been snatched away and the day had become night.  But the interesting thing about the experience was that somehow there was a new kind of light and clarity to be found within the night.  There was this old poet, St. John of the Cross, who wrote about the "dark night of the soul".  What's interesting about it to me is how he talks about this darkness with some level of love.  For him, the night was a purifying and clarifying experience.

In Yesternite, there is both a sense of loss of something important but also the realization that the night brings with it the possibility of a new day.  Loss and pain can bring something invaluable to the person who experiences it, so that the shadows lift their hands and praise the light.  Which is why even the sunbeams can praise the night.

 

Denver Westword Review

Screen Shot 2013-08-14 at 5.52.38 PMBased on the layered arena-rock peak of the title track of Gungor's I Am Mountain, which opens the album, you'd think this was a radio-friendly pop effort. And while there certainly are some vibrant pop melodies to be found, the overall aesthetic is far more cinematic in scope. The arrangements and instrumentation are intelligent and interesting throughout, particularly the pure percussive ear candy of tracks like "Beat of My Heart," which effectively conjures the spirit of Dead Can Dance, and the Peter Gabriel-esque "Let It Go." As compelling as the music is, the vocals are equally enjoyable, from the subtler passages of tunes like the opener, in which Michael Gungor sings with the measured delicacy of Sufjan Stevens, to the moments when Gungor and his wife, Lisa, twist in harmony.

The latter convincingly conveys longing and emotion in songs like "Wandering" and "The Best Part" through a thickness of heavily effected vocals. This is one Mountain that's totally worth ascending.

FULL ARTICLE

 

I Am Mountain - About The Song

Disclaimer:I've decided to do a little blogging about some of the songs from our new album "I am Mountain." I wasn't going to do this originally, because, first of all, I think trying to explain poetry with prose can often be a counterproductive endeavor. It's sort of like trying to explain why a joke is funny. The process can actually make it not funny.

So, here's my disclaimer about this… If the poetry on "I am Mountain" is already speaking to you, let it speak. In fact, you may not even want to read these song blogs because the temptation would be to think that these thoughts are the "correct" interpretation of the art, which is not the case. In fact, this album was very intentional about leaving room in its lyrical choices for interpretation. We are all at different stages of our journeys and sometimes what we need to hear most is not the same thing as what the creator emphasizes in his or her own mind. That's the beauty of art. Most of the songs on the album were co-written by a few of us in the Gungor collective, each of us with different thoughts and viewpoints, and honestly, we might even disagree about what these songs "mean". So, again these song blogs should not be seen as the official "meaning" of these songs, but merely some of my personal thoughts about the art that make this album lyrically interesting to me personally.

So here we go!

The song "I am Mountain" was one of the last songs to be written for this album. Even though it's the first song on the album, it is actually kind of the "conclusion" of the album as well. I considered putting the song later in the album, but to me, there is a cyclical and wandering nature to the album that made beginning in the place where we will leave off feel right. For me, the journey of this album begins and ends with mystery.

"I am mountain, I am dust Constellations made of us There's glory in the dirt A universe within the sand Eternity within a man"

I wrote these lyrics after reading a book by my friend Rob that emphasized the beauty and mystery of life's existence. Science shows us that we are literally made of stardust. http://www.physics.org/article-questions.asp?id=52 Quantum mechanics shows us how strange and connected this universe of ours is.

"We are ocean we are mist Brilliant fools who wound and kiss There's beauty in the dirt Wandering in skin and soul Searching, longing for a home"

Here, we see the major theme of the album come into play for the first time. We have acknowledged the beauty of existence, but there is also something to be said for the dark side of existence. We may be oceans of complex mystery, but we are also as fragile and temporary as mist. We have these brilliant minds that allow us to speak and think and have consciousness, yet we often use these gifts so foolishly. We love and then destroy that which we love. The complexity of this skin that meets soul creates a dissonance within life's very fabric.

"As the light, light, lights up the skies, up the skies We will fight, fight, fight for our lives, for our lives"

Living in the beauty rather than the chaos is going to be a fight. Enlightenment and wisdom rarely come easily. But fighting to see that light that makes the world shimmer is worth the effort.

The chorus has this big, communal wordless cry that to me feels something like the aforementioned fight. We are all in this existence thing together. It's big and its complex and we are all deeply connected within the same story, the same fight.

On some days, the world shimmers. On some days, our metaphors lose all their meaning, and the world saps the life out of us. At the end of the day, it's all part of life. How are you going to live it? In fear or in love? With violent, clenched fists or with open hands?

"Momentary carbon stories from the ashes, filled with holy ghost Life is here now, breathe it all in Let it all go You are earth and wind"

I Am Mountain - Lyrics

Track List:I am Mountain Beat of Her Heart Long Way Off Wandering Let it Go Wayward and Torn God and Country Hither and Yon Yesternite The Best Part Finally Upside Down

I AM MOUNTAIN (Michael Gungor / Lisa Gungor)

I am mountain, I am dust Constellations made of us There’s glory in the dirt A universe within the sand Eternity within a man

We are ocean, we are mist Brilliant fools who wound and kiss There’s beauty in the dirt Wandering in skin and soul Searching, longing for a home

As the light, light Lights up the skies, up the skies We will fight, fight Fight for our lives, for our lives

I am mountain, I am dust Constellations made of us There’s mystery in the dirt The metaphors are breaking down We taste the wind and sight is sound

As the light, light Lights up the skies, up the skies We will fight, fight Fight for our lives, for our lives 2x

Momentary carbon stories From the ashes Filled with holy ghost Life is here now Breathe it all in Let it all go You are earth and wind

BEAT OF HER HEART (Michael Gungor / Lisa Gungor / John Arndt)

She was a tempest Her beauty a storm Oh her eyes they were filled with the sun She would dance while I played her my songs The earth stood while she danced alone

He was a tempest His craving a storm He lusted her body from deep in the grove Enraptured or captured Betrayed or betrothed She would be his She’d be his alone

So she ran, oh she ran from the satyr’s chase She ran for her love and her life She tred on a snake Venom replaced both the beat of her heart and the song in mine The beat of her heart and the song in mine

The music was morning A requiem cry I wept with my songs for the love of my life It broke all the hearts of the gods in the skies I played my guitar and the earth opened wide

How I played, oh I played in the underworld Oh, I played for my love and her life Oh, I pled with the gods Give her back Give a beat to her heart and a song to mine The beat of her heart and the song in mine

Hades responded, a glint in his eye I grant you your plea You may leave with your wife With one small request I suggest you obey You musn’t look back as you walk away

So we ran oh we ran to the dawning light Oh we ran for our love and our lives Once again I would hear the sweet sound of the beat of her heart And the song in mine The beat of her heart and the song in mine

My mind was a tempest My doubt was a storm I turned back to see She really had come Just as our eyes met She faded from sight That’s when I knew I would never find The beat of her heart or the song in mine

LONG WAY OFF (Michael Gungor / Lisa Gungor / John Arndt)

The smartest men, they built a rocket Aimed it at a target far, far, far away But by the time they knew they lost it It was a long way, was a long way, was a long way We’re a long way, we’re a long way, we’re a long way off

The smartest men, they saw a world with Corners and endings far, far, far away But when they drew it out and searched it They were a long way, were a long way, were a long way We’re a long way, we’re a long way, we’re a long way

The erudite composed a thesis Everything we see is all, all, all there is But as an apophatic mystic We’re a long way, we’re a long way, we’re a long way We’re a long way, we’re a long way, we’re a long way off

When the waves of time Wash the shores stark clean Of the memories, the last of me With my castles gone to the constant sea Will you stay with me Stay with me

WANDERING (Lisa Gungor)

I’ve been wandering through this world Looking for an anchor to hold me I’ve been stumbling through this world Searching for the thread that might free me

I am looking to you I am holding on to you

I’ve been wandering through this world Looking for an anchor to hold me I’ve been stumbling through this world Searching for the thread that might free me

I am looking to you I am holding on to you I am looking to you I’ve been holding on to you

I’ve been wandering through this world Looking for a love that might free me

LET IT GO (Michael Gungor / Lisa Gungor / John Arndt)

You’ve been waiting there Waiting for the right time Looking for a perfect rhyme Never comes around

It is all here It is all now Open up your eyes and look around It’ll go It’ll go

If there’s anything that holds you down, just forget it Keeping your feet on the ground, don’t you let it

Let it go, let it go, let it go, let it go

It is all here It is all now Open up your eyes and look around Let it go Let it go

If there’s anything that holds you down, just forget it Keeping your feet on the ground, don’t you let it

Let it go, let it go, let it go, let it go

WAYWARD AND TORN (Michael Gungor / Lisa Gungor / John Arndt)

You walked this road a thousand times You know exactly where it ends Where it slopes and where it bends All the camps have locked their gates All the lines are drawn and clear All who are worn Wayward and torn You’re welcome here

We live in falling more than ground We are the listening more than sound We have no home You’re not alone You’re welcome here

We’ve walked this road a thousand times We know exactly where it ends Where it slopes and where it bends

GOD AND COUNTRY (Michael Gungor / Lisa Gungor / John Arndt / Stephen Proctor)

I was just a young girl when they sent him off to war Barely even knew what in hell he’s fighting for Told me all the stories of a world beyond the world Scaled the tallest mountains They braved a ragged sea Lost a lot of souls just to set the captives free May have lost a father but they found a lot of oil

Gathered up our gods oh we gathered up our guns For the love of country For our fathers and our sons

He was just a young man when they sent him off to war Barely even knew what in hell he’s fighting for The battle for the land with the strangers from the east Descending from the mountains and rising from the sea Monsters came with vengeance and took my son from me You can take my money, take my land, but not my son

Gathered up our God oh we gathered up our guns For the love of country For our fathers and our sons Lost a lot of souls Stained the killing ground with blood Lord knows we won’t stop the fight until the battle’s won

God we love our God Oh God we love our guns For the love of country For our fathers and our sons Lost a lot of souls Stained the killing ground with blood Lord knows we won’t stop the fight until the battle’s won

Those who live by the gun, live by the gun Die by the gun Those who live by the gun, live by the gun Die by the gun

HITHER AND YON (Michael Gungor)

YESTERNITE (Michael Gungor)

Yesterday the gods were smiling down on me Yesterday the angels graced the glassy sea The world was bathed in black and mystery Yesterday

Yesternite the gods they disappeared from sight The angels flapped their wings and took their songs to flight The shadows lift their hands and praise the light Yesternite

Yesterday your hands were home in mine Yesterday my heart was yours to find Yesternite I found some peace of mind Yesternite

And so the morning finally shed its light The mourning of the loss The sacred fight Sunbeams lift their hands and praise the night Praise the night

THE BEST PART (Lisa Gungor)

I have seen it all Oh, I have seen it all I’ve felt it all Life is running swift now Like a raging river, how it runs out Please don’t go Please don’t go

Cause this is the best part Lying awake in the dark This is the best part Hearing the beat of a heart

I have seen it all Oh, I have seen it all Have I felt it all Time is old and young Oh, glitter moments fleeting on my skin Pause in the glow Pause in the glow

Cause this is the best part Lying awake in the dark This is the best part Here in the beat of a heart This is the best part Lying awake in the dark This is the best part Here in the beat of a heart

FINALLY (Michael Gungor / Lisa Gungor)

Call me back into the silence Into the sunlight Every breath a standing defiance Of death and of clamor Let darkness be scattered now

Be Here in the free We could just be Finally We’ll chase the sun Naked we’ll run We could be free Finally

I’ll be here waiting in silence Waiting for sunlight To make all the world shine bright

All the stars fall in line And the seas bow their heads We remember our dead and we sing another day As the silence it grows and the worlds fade away All the sons empty their graves We will sing another day We’ll sing another day

Be Here in the free We could just be Finally We’ll chase the sun Naked we’ll run We could be free Finally We’ll chase the sun Naked we’ll run We could just be Finally We could be free Finally

UPSIDE DOWN (Michael Gungor / Lisa Gungor)

Upside down Upside down This world is upside down

Do you see Do you see us Do you hear us

Make it right Make it right Let the sun rise

American Songwriter Debut

"Gungor will hit the road this October, taking their sweeping, cinematic pop-folk sound to more than 60 cities. Whenever they aren’t on tour, though, husband-and-wife duo Michael and Lisa Gungor can be found in Denver, just a few miles east of the foothills of the Rockies. That area comes alive on their album, I Am Mountain, which mixes the rootsy twang of the Wild West with the giddy uplift of the Mile High city. “Wayward and Torn” opens with the audible crunch of footsteps of gravel, followed by bluesy acoustic guitar and honking harmonica. It’s the most southern-sounding tune on the album, and it doesn’t quite fit with the rest of the tracklist . . . but we like it that way. The band does, too.

“Human beings evolved to live and thrive within tribes and groups, yet there are some of us that don’t always have the easiest time finding a tribe that would have us,” Michael Gungor says. “This short little song doesn’t entirely fit the rest of the record musically. But the slight musical incongruities of the song actually become a manifestation of the song’s lyrical intention within the arc of the record. Our music has never really been able to find a format or genre to belong to. But on the way, we’ve met plenty of interesting, if heretical, people who also enjoy wandering the edges of the camps. ‘All who are worn, wayward and torn, you’re welcome here.’”

Guess that means there’s room for us."

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USA Today Debut

"I am mountain, I am dust," Michael Gungor sings on the title track from the forthcoming Gungor album I Am Mountain. The perspective constantly shifts in a song that begins with a repetitive piano pattern but later swells to a stirring chant, finding beauty and mystery in both the micro and the macro of the universe. I Am Mountain, which premieres at USA TODAY, is the latest from the Grammy-nomination pop-folk collective fronted by Michael and his wife, Lisa. The group's new album comes out Sept. 24.

A month later, the group — whose music has earned comparisons to Sufjan Stevens, Arcade Fire and Bon Iver — will begin a headlining tour that will take them across the U.S. and to Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Europe.

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Gungor Offers 'I Am Mountain' Sept. 24

Screen Shot 2013-08-14 at 5.52.38 PMOn Sept. 24, Hither and Yon Records will release 'I Am Mountain,' from pop folk collective, Gungor, led by Michael and Lisa Gungor. Michael, often drawing comparisons to Sufjan Stevens, Arcade Fire and Bon Iver, uses his skills as an accomplished multi-instrumentalist, arranger and producer on 'I Am Mountain' to kick off a journey of stories told, some personal, some allegorical, but all honest and forthright.

Setting aside his reliance on what he calls 'metaphysical constructs I'd known all my life,' Gungor has tapped his considerable musical reserves for a song set simultaneously revelatory in its lyrical content, ambitious in its sonic scope and compelling in its approachability.

Michael shares vocalizations in Gungor with wife Lisa, and together they interact, counter-play and underscore each song's arc with precision and versatility, be it the plaintive whisper of 'Yesternite,' the lost-then-found effect choices made on 'Wandering' and '70s-era evocation on the chorus of 'Let It Go.'

'I Am Mountain' track listing: 1. I Am Mountain 2. Beat of Her Heart 3. Long Way Off 4. Wandering 5. Let It Go 6. Wayward And Torn 7. God And Country 8. Hither And Yon 9. Yesternite 10. The Best Part 11. Finally 12. Upside Down