Mountain Man—the trio of Amelia Meath, Alexandra Sauser-Monnig, and Molly Sarlé—releases Mountain Man Sings Fiona Apple, featuring its version of “Hot Knife,” from Apple’s 2012 album, The Idler Wheel…, today February 17th, 2021.
The song is the latest release in Mountain Man’s series of cover singles, which also includes the band’s versions of the English folk song “Greensleeves,” Neil Young’s “Through My Sails,” the Shaker hymn “Simple Gifts,” Kacey Musgraves’ “Slow Burn,” Wilco’s “You and I,” John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” and the Irving Berlin holiday classic “White Christmas.”
Of today’s release, the band says: “If we followed Questlove’s advice and made gratitude lists before we went to bed every night, Fiona Apple would be at the top every time. She tells the truth like no one else does. Thank you Fiona Apple. We love you.”
The cover has become a fan-favourite staple of the band’s live set, with Glide Magazine describing a 2018 performance of it in Brooklyn as “three voices colliding and weaving like a sensual fever dream.”
Mountain Man’s last album, Magic Ship, was released in 2018 to critical acclaim. Following their beloved 2010 debut, Made the Harbor, the three musicians went in different directions for several years before they all ended up in North Carolina, spending time together as old friends, and finally reuniting as a band, and recording Magic Ship at Meath’s home studio in Durham. The group toured the US afterward, including a stop in Washington, DC, and a visit to NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series; watch that performance here.
In addition to Meath’s Grammy-nominated work with Sylvan Esso, Sauser-Monnig and Sarlé have recorded their own critically-acclaimed solo projects. Sauser-Monnig released Dawnbreaker, her debut album under the moniker Daughter of Swords, via Bella Union in 2019.
“Molly Sarlé, Amelia Meath and Alexandra Sauser-Monnig have perfected a bare, unadulterated sound composed of little more than three-part vocal harmonies.”—NPR
“Mountain Man’s radiant harmonies are as pretty as they come …. Quiet may seem like an outlier in this noisy present, but Mountain Man understands its power.” —Pitchfork