Drawing on the eclectic sounds of electropop, blues, post-rock and folk, Mountains in the Sea play confidently every note of their self-titled debut album. Husband-and-wife duo Phil and Angela Lamb are committed musicians who together pile a vast set of influences into an equally diverse sound.
“We’re interesting in the sense that we, I think, we’ve come from a lot of different music backgrounds,” Angela Lamb said. “We can’t box ourselves in too tightly.”
Lamb undersells the duo: Everything about them is interesting. For one thing, their meeting is a rare and wonderful byproduct of the modern age; they met on Facebook through mutual friends. “I never thought anything would come of it because we were across the whole country,” she said.
But Phil Lamb, having engaged with her and her music, moved from Spokane to North Carolina to make it happen. Cut to today, and they’re married with kids, living in Spokane Valley and releasing their second album in the coming year.
“She sent me this song. I think an Ingrid Michaelson song or something?” Lamb said. “And I was just listening to it on my phone. I was, like, hold up and just had to drop everything and go call her. It was like, ‘Yeah, I just knew it at that point.’ ”
More than an occupation, music forms the ins and outs of daily life in the Lamb household. Their home is outfitted with everything they need to record, and their smartphones help them turn any place into grounds for ideation. Sampled soundbites, “quick claps or high hats or something like that,” from real life permeate their music.
They released their first album in August and immediately started thinking about how to share it with more listeners. They reached out to a few agencies and then moved on to working on the next album largely without hearing back. Then, earlier this year, they received a pleasant surprise: Their song “Let’s Go” had received an ad placement.
“You always want to have your music be on something like that,” Phil Lamb said. “You see all these different ads and TV shows and movies, and it’s like, ‘Oh, it’d be so cool if you could actually hear your music be played.’ ”
The couple’s catchy, light guitar riff can be heard in a recent set of Hyundai commercials. Always forward-looking, the Lambs are now balancing family time, recording and producing the next album and finishing an RV so that they can travel the country for months at a time. They are also playing a weekly gig in Idaho.
“After the first few months of everything locking down, Idaho kind of opened back up,” Angela Lamb said. “And we’re so thankful we can still play there. So, we play there probably almost every Friday night at Castaway Cellars.”
The work keeps their skills sharp and gives them a way to test out new songs. There is also something to be said for the healing powers of live music. “It’ll help people to be happier. I think people really could use that,” Phil Lamb said.
For the upcoming album – they anticipate a late 2021 release – both are excited. “It’s gonna be better,” she said. There will be “a couple of songs that we wrote a really long time ago. We knew they were our best songs.” They only waited because they “had to do them justice, to make them really go big.”
“We’ll be working on them for a little bit, then take a break,” Phil Lamb said. Change it up by “working on some other songs.”
There is also the exciting prospect of expanding the group’s sound with new instrumentation. “We’ve learned to just try adding more sounds, like keep experimenting with the song,” Angela Lamb said. With her husband producing their music at home, there is no restraint on creativity, only more hours to devote to their art.
Overall, it’s the Lambs’ unending creative drive and passion for condensing their diverse tastes into art that drives their music to its fun, tight and emotive state. “I think some of my favorite songs are the songs that just totally capture an emotion that you’ve never put words to,” Angela Lamb said.
Their pursuit of such songs will be worth paying attention to as the years progress, and they wind their way through their panoply of musical influences. Mountains in the Sea can be streamed on their website mountainsinthesea.com, and the Lambs are on Instagram @mtnsinthesea.
Julien A. Luebbers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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