Space Mountain Interview: “Putting Songs Together Is Something I Lose Myself In”

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space mountain interview

New Album Big Sky  Out 26 August on cassette via Super Fan 99 (EU) & limited CD via Dust Etc (US).

Boston’s Space Mountain, the alt country project of Cole Kinsler, is wonderfully lo-fi and DIY. As a result, his songs are imbued with an wonderful sense of relaxed intimacy and fuzzy beauty. Underneath the slightly distorted guitar and laid back, nearly lethargic vocal delivery lay songs of the most delicate and subtle variety, worming their way into your subconsciousness and setting up camp there with their kitchen sink drama lyrics. Latest single ‘Never Lonely’, a collaboration with Ava Trilling of Forth Wanderers, is the perfect example of this with it’s relaxed tempo and tale of a house wife constantly waiting for her wayward husband to return.

Cole recently took some time to talk to us about his latest album Big Sky (his forth since 2013), DIY music, and his dream collaborator.

Overblown: You’ve released an album a year under the moniker Space Mountain since 2013. Is it difficult to remain that prolific?

Cole Kinsler: At times, yeah. I think there has been a period after each album where I’m like “okay this might be the last one” because I feel like I can’t write any more songs. But, creativity is a mysterious thing that seems to come and go in cycles. I’ve kinda accepted that, and also just become a bit more confident in my own songwriting along the way.

O: On new track ‘Never Lonely’ you collaborate with Ava Trilling of Forth Wanderers’. How did that affect the writing of the song? Did you write it with her in mind?

CK: I had been playing with the chord progression for a while, and knew I wanted it to be a duet in some way. I had a broad idea of a satirical love song thing I wanted to do with it, but I actually sent it over to Ava as an instrumental. She took it in her own direction, which ended up being much cooler than what I had in mind! Ava is an amazing lyricist and singer, so I was thrilled that she was willing to work on it at all.

O: The music you record is wonderfully lo-fi and DIY. What do you like about this approach and what drew you to it initially?

CK: At this point, recording at home is the only way I know how. I really like the process. The act of recording and putting songs together is one of those things I can lose myself in. Maybe someday I’ll try out a more collaborative or studio atmosphere. Initially I think I just had a realization that it was possible to make good music with simple means.. so I started experimenting.

O: Has your approach changed over the course of the four albums you’ve recorded since 2013?

CK: When I think about it, it really hasn’t changed too much. I’ve kept my setup fairly simple, but I think I’m learning little things each time around to make everything sound better. I was just kinda winging it for the first album, and now I definitely put a lot more thought and effort into things.

O: This is your first record to be released internationally. Do you have any plans to come and tour in Europe?

CK: Not at the moment, but hopefully one day! That would be amazing.

O: Who would you love to collaborate with and why?

CK: Dang, that’s a tough question. Maybe Jeff Tweedy, because he’s one of my favorite songwriters.

O: What record are you currently listening to and can’t get enough of?

CK: So many! I’ve been listening to the new stuff from June Gloom, Andy Shauf, and Nap Eyes a lot recently. Also still playing Radiohead’s new record fairly regularly. It’s so good.

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