Release Date: 13 June 2010
Conversations that circulate around artists and albums and songs have always been a crucial part of the music experience. That said, the extent to which online chatter and claims-jumping have become more important than actually listening to the new album by, say, M.I.A. or Wavves, is kind of disheartening. So it's a relief to hear a record that's more fun to listen to than it could ever be to talk about. Mountain Man's got its small share of blog buzz, but Made the Harbor evokes, and even seems to encourage, private appreciation.
It's Mountain Man's bell-toned voices volleying off the walls of an abandoned ice cream parlor where the album was recorded that sells it. If you find yourself indifferent to "Babylon", an electrifying a cappella arrangement of Psalm 137, you may want to check your pulse. Then there are the spaces and silences-- between tracks, verses, even notes-- that the trio occasionally fills with false starts, deep breaths, and laughter, but mostly let be. At its best, Harbor feels like a private performance of friends only out to please themselves. But if you promise to sit quietly and listen, you're more than welcome to stay.
- Amy Granzin, Pitchfork (2010)