Reading the Ashes

Part Three

This is the third instalment in a series of four blogs about Dark Mountain’s newly released compilation album, ‘Reading the Ashes‘.

Last week we released the album as a digital download only on bandcamp. In the first blog I described the reasons for another musical angle of the Dark Mountain Project. In this third instalment, we celebrate the following three artists that feature on the compilation, Young Hunter, Angela Faye Martin, and Billy Bottle and the Multiple.

To download and listen to the full compilation album, please go here: Reading the Ashes

is the bard of disempire, a crooner of morose ballads and fiery diatribes, As well as creating three of his own albums, he is the producer of the two Dark Mountain compilations, Where the Mourning Ends and Reading the Ashes , and was the driving force behind the powerdown music stage at the Uncivilisation festivals.

Young Hunter

Young Hunter is the doom metal stoner rock brain child of Benjamin Blake. Originally from Tucson, Arizona, Benjamin started the band there in the desert. He has since moved to Portland, Oregon and started the band from scratch. The band’s e.p. ‘Embers at the Foot of Dark Mountain’  is available on cassette in the Dark Mountain shop.

When asked how Dark Mountain relates to their music,  Ben said:

“We try to channel primal energies through our music, both harsh intensity and alluring beauty. Our songs are about the land we live on – first when the band was based in Tucson, then now in the Pacific Northwest – and the relationship between humans and the earth, both our modern civilization and those who were here before. The myths of our culture put us at odds with the wild, with nature, and ultimately ourselves, and this self-imposed exile seems to be leading to a major collapse. We explore those underlying myths and potential futures, as well as the way that the earth is ever calling us back to itself, waiting for us to wake up, individually and collectively.”

When asked about their song ‘Dreamer’ on the compilation, Ben said:

“This song is on one hand about the inherent violence of existing in the physical world – in the sense that we are unable to escape the fact that by being alive, we necessarily will destroy other beings and forms, as part of the cycle of destruction and creation. On the other hand, this song is about how the current situation on planet Earth is taking that to an extreme – we are at the risk of wiping out ourselves and doing great damage to the web of life which has gifted us our lives. And it is also about the cognitive dissonance between humans and our larger actions, and the importance that we all wake up to the present moment. Like, right now.”

To find out more about Young Hunter visit their website here:

Angela Faye Martin

From deep in the mountains of North Carolina, Angela-Faye Martin has been recording her rare breed of alternative folk music. In 2012 she released the album Anniversary from where this track comes from. This follows her acclaimed 2009 album Pictures from Home, produced by the late Mark Linkous aka Sparklehorse. Both of these albums are available in the Dark Mountain shop.

When asked how Dark Mountain relates to their music,  Angela said:

“Years ago, I read an essay by Wendell Berry, in Harpers Magazine, that convinced me that art had much to contribute to the greatest problems of our species. The gist being that artists understand limits. The problem is that most of the decisions that affect the planet take place in boardrooms, one of the least likely places you’ll find a sculptor, poet, songwriter and so forth. But to me, Dark Mountain is a refugium where life and art intersect in ways that are relevant to those who grieve, grapple and perhaps reject mainstream paradigms and the way art is consumed. When I make a song, it becomes a cave painting of what I see in my rural landscape and at once puts me in touch with my most primitive self because I don’t approach it systematically. It’s similar to looking next to a star, so that you can see the star. Peripheral vision and peripheral geography are my modes, I’m finding. Dark Mountain allows me to feel at home without making the scene, where you typically encounter music. My scene is the periphery.”

When asked about her song ‘Ravens at Night’ on the compilation, Angela said:

“Ravens at Night scolds. It refers to a few simultaneous but congruous notions and events. A raven sighting is rare at my home but ravens at night are extremely rare and only in the event of extreme hunger, from what I understand. But I liked to think that this raven visitation was my late friend, Mark Linkous. Also, I’d just climbed the big mountain behind where he lived and had just watched the documentary film, Ghost Bird, which filled my heart with outrage for the destruction of Ivory Billed woodpecker habitat in my southern US, for the construction of sewing machine cabinets. Sewing machines are one of those loaded subconscious images that come up often for me. ”

To find out more about Angela, please visit her website here:

Billy Bottle and the Multiple

Burrowing in the depths of Devon, England,  Billy Bottle ran away from the circus to work with Canterbury organ figurehead, Caravan’s Dave Sinclair. Pianist for Mike Westbrook’s Big Band, Billy blends a hint of Canterbury-scene with jazz and folk. His recent album with The Multiple is a Thoreau inspired epic that connotes nostalgia and whimsy, whilst pushing the experimental/free improvisational boundaries. In a strange twist of fate, Billy and Martine from the band have recently appeared on the reality television show, The Voice. Their Waldenesque album, ‘Unrecorded Beam’, is available at the Dark Mountain shop.

When asked how Dark Mountain relates to their music,  Billy from the band said:

“Believing that people are live metaphor, music is a means to explore the natural narratives of the earth. Ancient and futuristic, the nature of alchemy is such that we can only dance this story together.”

When asked about their song ‘O Nature’ on the compilation, Billy said:

“O Nature was our collaboration with the dead poet, Thoreau. His ideas are still very much alive in the ecology movement but the intention of our chorus was to describe a yearning for the earth and a less andro-centric experience of reality. In a sense this is a call for humility but also grieves what was lost.”

Billy Bottle and The Multiple release their new single La Belle Époque today. To find out more about the band, please visit their website here:


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