Misty Mtn: Dark Mountain Pop
Meet Misty Mtn, a new indie-pop duo featuring Brooklyn-based Morissa Trunzo and Lucas Segall. Launching the project in December with their atmospheric single “Greener” (listen here), the duo introduces us to "dark mountain pop" - a genre all their own, surfacing aural snapshots of places like Montana and Upstate New York (with a side of Brooklyn, of course).
A new band with a new sound, and a pretty sick name for it ... we're into it.
We wanted to know more, so MOXI MAG spoke with Morissa and Lucas over the phone from Pasadena, CA, where they’re spending a month recording music and playing shows.
Below is a condensed and edited version of our conversation.
Were you two friends first and then decided to be a band, or did the band part come first?
Morissa: We actually met working at a restaurant.
Lucas: —in Brooklyn, where we both live.
M: We would talk a lot during shifts. I remember once asking him to play piano for me for a show, and he very politely said no. Then we—tale as old as time—fell in love.
L: We started writing songs together aimlessly at first, just for fun, and liked what we were coming up with.
You’ve assigned yourselves the genre “dark mountain pop.” Where does that come from?
L: We were hesitant to define ourselves in an existing genre, because we come from pretty different musical backgrounds. We were trying to smash those together and create something new. Morissa came up with “dark mountain pop.”
M: We were making music, and we liked how it sounded, but we didn’t know yet where it lived. Shameless plug for one of the most amazing women and photographers, Karen Santos. We took pictures with her, the ones in all black. It was instantly after we had those images, Misty Mtn started taking on this dark mountain life.
Was “Greener” always a hybrid, this electronic/folky mashup, or did it start with voice and guitar and build from there?
M: The way we write together is with acoustic guitar, sitting on the couch, just riffing off some ideas. It starts very simple, with the intent to turn it into a more electronic, vibey song.
L: We defined what the Misty Mtn sound was going to be early on: finger-picked electric guitar with bigger, idiosyncratic, hip-hop beats and some synths, and melding those textures organically. But always with the song and vocals being the most important part.
What did each of you bring to “Greener” in the writing and production?
L: I do most of the producing, and I play guitar. Morissa’s also a really good guitar player and keyboard player, and some of the drum-type patterns and sounds come from her. The harmonies... [laughing] That was my debut singing. I don’t consider myself much of a singer.
M: But it’s very collaborative. Lucas is the brains behind the production operation.
L: And I’ve never written a lyric in my life, by the way.
Morissa, I wondered if there’s anything about your upbringing in Montana that brings itself into the music.
M: I’ve always been inspired by Montana and the lifestyle and the mountains and the quiet—and that mixed emotion of leaving. In whatever I do, I want to pay homage to the place that made me who I am and made me creative. I grew up on a mountaintop, where my dad had a record collection of over 20,000 records. So I was constantly in the mountains and surrounded by music.
What is 2018 going to look like, release-wise?
M: We’re actually going to be shooting a music video for “Greener” in New York, most likely in the Hudson Valley to capture the wilderness. We’re hopefully going to release the video in March.
L: We don’t anticipate dropping an album this year. We’re kind of excited by the fact that indie artists can put out singles and get feedback from their audience and just do it all ourselves, which is very fun for us.
As far as the music video goes, would you be willing to share anything about the concept?
M: It’s going to be very green.
Photos by Karen Santos Photography