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On this week’s Talkhouse Podcast, we’ve got a lively conversation between some people whose relationship got off to kind of a rocky start, but who’ve since become friends: Jeff Tweedy of Wilco and all three members of Mountain Man: Amelia Meath, Alexandra Sauser-Monnig, and Molly Sarle.
Now the occasion for this conversation is the recent reissue of the first Mountain Man record, 2010’s Made the Harbor, which features new liner notes written by Tweedy. This gorgeous, strange record was made back when these three women were just getting to know each other as college students in Vermont. Somehow, as if by magic—you’ll hear about that in this chat—their voices perfectly intertwined, and some of the very first songs that any of them wrote ended up becoming these timeless little gems. And then they went their separate ways for quite a long time: Meath ended up as half of Sylvan Esso, most notably. They’ve since regrouped for shows and more excellent music, most recently a live album called Look at Me, Don’t Look at Me.
The members of Mountain Man first met Jeff Tweedy when they played Wilco’s Solid Sound Festival—and apparently snubbed Tweedy when he introduced himself. No offense was taken and a friendship was eventually formed, though as you’ll hear, Tweedy still finds himself a little intimidated in their presence. Tweedy’s latest entry in an incredibly prolific career is a deluxe edition of Love is the King, the album he recorded and released during the first part of the pandemic. It’s now getting a bonus disc called Live is the King, which as you may have guessed, features live renditions of these excellent songs. Tweedy and Mountain Man will meet again in person in January during Wilco’s Sky Blue Sky festival in Mexico. Presumably they will recognize him this time.
In this funny, winding conversation, they begin by talking about seasonal depression, pivot quickly to a discussion of candy, and then move on to the serious business of creating music—and what that means to them. So we’ve got everything from Mountain Man’s magical discovery of their own voices—like a unicorn in the woods—to Jeff’s story about the time he thought he could lose weight by eating only Snickers. One minute, Amelia Meath is talking about sexy lumberjacks on TikTok, the next Jeff Tweedy is pining for an honorary Bachelor’s Degree. Won’t somebody give him one? We’re looking at you, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Enjoy.
Thanks for listening to the Talkhouse Podcast, and thanks to Jeff Tweedy and Mountain Man for chatting. If you liked what you heard, follow Talkhouse on your favorite podcasting platform and all relevant social channels. This episode was produced by Melissa Kaplan, and the Talkhouse theme is composed and performed by the Range. See you next time.
(Photo Credit: left, Alexa Viscius; Edited by: Keenan Kush.)