Mammal is a Mountain reaches peaks through musical collective

Folk, grandiose Americana impressionism and noise folk rock all describe local band Mammal is a Mountain. Lead vocalist senior Dan Lynch, who also contributes on guitar, started the band three years ago with peers Jameson Dunham and Jamie Greene at Finger Lakes Community College. All three are still core members along with three additional members: Conor McCann ‘13, Michael Vadala ‘13 and senior Robert Wojcikiewicz.

Dunham plays bass, Greene is on drums, McCann plays guitar, Vadala plays piano and Wojcikiewicz contributes mandolin.

Lynch said the band’s sound varies depending on a group of interchangeable guests who join in from time to time, emphasizing the idea of a "collective" of musicians. A frequent guest is Sally Schaefer ‘13 on fiddle.

“We always try and have our friends play with us,” he said.

Lynch, McCann, and Wojcikiewicz also play in local band The Whale and the Warbler, contributing guitar, lead vocals and drums, respectively.

“It’s good to lead and not follow but push,” Lynch said regarding his roles in both bands. Lynch studies ethnomusicology and American folk music at Geneseo, one of two people in the major.

Lynch said the Bright Eyes album Lifted or The Story Is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground heavily influences the band. He also cited Josh Ritter, Jacob Augustine and The Low Anthem as influences for its “noise.”

"Lifted was a turning point in my life musically and emotionally. It speaks to me today as much as it did 10 years ago," he said.

Mammal is a Mountain has played shows in Syracuse, Rochester and the Geneseo area. Mammal is a Mountain is currently playing strictly house shows as the band works toward finishing its second full-length winter album, scheduled to come out in January 2014. After finishing up the album, the band plans to tour from late winter to spring.

The band just released its second EP Family Noise Harvest over the summer, which is available on the band’s website.

“Song for a Dream,” a recent music video for a track off Family Noise Harvest, is accessible on YouTube, along with considerable amounts of live footage of performances from the band.

"I only write songs that I want to hear sung - somewhat selfish, but makes for the best piece of music in my opinion," Lynch said.