by Lily O’Donnell
I don’t think any new, quarantine released music has made me as nostalgic for late nights spent dancing then this EP. I can close my eyes and see myself, dancing, arms wrapped around my friends, smiling. Baseball Hero has brought me back to a time I had almost forgotten and I couldn’t be happier about it.
Baseball Hero released their newest EP, Salvation Mountain back in September. The EP is really beautiful. It is named after the infamous “Salvation Mountain” in Slab City, Southern California, with a photograph of the iconic art piece as the album art. The album is a mixture of happy and sad music that could emanate from the Mountain. It’s the perfect accompaniment to this weird period of endless quarantine. The songs are a space for venting, as well as finding new peace and normalcy despite the limitations of our new world. It feels like the art we all needed that expresses how we feel being isolated from each other all over.
Most of the songs start slow and gentle with really soft vocals, then eventually get loud and rowdy. The instruments clash and collide symbiotically. It works as carefully orchestrated and intertwined chaos. It feels like the inner screams and turmoils of a quarantine day. A day that starts out normal and easy, then clashes and collides, and then carries on and moves wonderfully. The songs are nostalgic, sad, dreamy, a mix of reality and inner turmoil, all while being very fast and irresistibly danceable.
The longest song on the album, “Modern Death/Wish it Was” seems to speak on this new adjustment we are dealing with. A new reconfiguration of life as we know it. The song works wonderfully for small scale life changes, as well the mass changes we are seeing today. The lyrics preach for escaping, “when I was a little kid I dreamt I could climb a set of stairs into the sky,” with the intense, fast paced instrumentals.
The song ends with what may be the mantra of 2020, “Lean into the feeling that nothing is the same, though I wish it was.” The song ends with an echoing of “I wish it was”. It feels sad but relieving in the optimism and upbeat style of the instruments. The song and the lyrics are cathartic, as they are a conjuring and release of the overbearing stress and panic of the times.
The album’s title track is a wonderful coming together of forces that switch from loud to mellow. It leaves the listeners swaying slowly to suddenly flailing. It’s a beautiful song, with the lyrics, “Let’s gather on Salvation Mountain, Before the Rapture takes us.” The song is a wonderfully joyous call for coming together in these especially apocalyptic times. The song, and the album completely, reminds us of the silver linings, the happiness underlying the bleakness of the times.
Baseball Hero’s new EP is exceptionally poignant and a great quarantine listen. It’s sure to parallel some of your own anxieties. It might even make you feel some sense of transcendence from the uncertainties of the future. Hopefully, one day soon, we can all be gathered again in a dark room to hear this album live and loud. There won’t be a dancing restriction and we can move and sway together, rejoicing, singing along to “Salvation Mountain”.