Fusing full-bodied, fresh-air harmonies, bluegrassy melodies and a storyline about obsessively crushing, Yonder Mountain String Band’s “Alison” is one of the prettiest odes to being a creeper ever written.
The tune is the first taste from the Colorado-based quintet’s upcoming sixth studio album (set for release in early 2017), premiering exclusively with Rolling Stone Country today alongside its breathtaking video.
Filmed at Bridal Veil Falls in Telluride, Colorado, and featuring a series of awe-inspiring drone camera shots, the video’s scenery stands in stark contrast to the song’s main character, a mysterious figure who takes his unrequited love for “Alison” into borderline disturbing territory, all the while singing her name.
“[Guitarist] Adam Aijala and I had a lot of fun developing this tune, and it went through a couple of good tweaks,” says banjo-playing singer Dave Johnston. “The speaker is sort of a stalker type, but he’s also prone to getting duped, so it ends up being a hopeless situation for him. I can’t tell, though, if I feel sorry for him or not.”
Indeed, the song doesn’t sound creepy — it’s bright, warm and relaxing, full of beautiful fiddle and mandolin leads and reminiscent of a daydream set to music. But then again, the guy does follow around a girl and repeats himself over and over, lending a dark undertone fitting of any true bluegrass ballad.
Fans can make their own assessment of the mystery man’s intentions when the band hosts a hometown blowout at the famed Red Rocks Amphitheater next Saturday, August 20th, joined by Southern-rock torch bearers Drive-By Truckers and the legendary New Orleans jazz outfit Preservation Hall Jazz Band. After that, YMSB continues on with tour dates set through December 2016.