M. Grig is a Durham-based composer and multi-instrumentalist (who specializes in dobro, lap steel and pedal steel guitar) which we introduced with the project Light of Woods and the album Field Notes. Now he released a new album with his own name. Mount Carmel is out now via New York-based label 12k. Full streaming is available below.

Hi words about it: “Mount Carmel is probably my most personal record to date. I wrote it with the place of my childhood in mind. The neighborhood in which I grew up had only two streets, both of which wound into cul-de-sacs between an interwoven set of barren, gentle hills in Los Peñasquitos, California. Growing up, my mother, who immigrated from Mexico to the United States to marry my father, told me that “Los Peñasquitos” means “the hills with white rocks on them.” Today I am told by the internet that it means “little cliffs.” I spent a lot of time on those little cliffs, kicking through dust as I explored them, watching for rattlesnakes.

I grew up between these little cliffs, under the sun. Feelings anchored to material things constitute my memory of that place: the ice plant in our front yard we would step on to crush out its juice; the lava rock beneath the pine trees; the Santa Annas – hot, dry winds that would suddenly blow in our backyard; the dry and barren hills without trees, only brush – chaparral and sage – that I constantly climbed. This particular landscape permeates and orients the record for me.