Pygmylush may be from a D.C. suburb, but their sound wraps itself in the dark ridgelines of pine tree wilderness, rusted stills and dilapidated cabins full of moths. Mount Hope is a haunting collection of alt-country songs—something along the lines of the Magnolia Electric Co.’s spooky old-time tune, “Talk to me Devil Again.”
This is pure mountain music for lost and broken, moonshined souls. “Asphalt” wanders through cavernous bass plucking, shimmering riffs and the pretty wails and whispers of brothers Mike and Chris Taylor. The tone of the Virginia-based band is incredibly subtle, especially considering they rose from the ashes of Richmond’s experimental hardcore group, Pageninetynine. Songs like “Butch’s Dream” and the title track rough up the otherwise dream-like flow, pushing it to the edge of gypsy hillbilly, while “Concrete Mountain” seems to draw the album into further mystery. It has strange pirate chanting and the to-and-fro drum beats could almost be mistaken for the wheeze of a tuba.
The album sound like something Iron & Wine would release, but Pygmylush delves into heavier, faster chords often enough to keep the sound from slipping into the dissipating soundscapes of which Samuel Beam seems accustomed.
Pygmylush play with Tideland at the Elks Lodge Thursday, June 26, at 9 PM. Stein, The Sherlocks and Riddlin’ Que open. Free.