The music that Dave Benton makes as Trace Mountains acts as a respite, both from the pressures and expectations attached to Benton’s other band LVL UP as well as the world at large. The vocabulary of A Partner To Lean On — Benton’s first proper LP under the name — is one of dreams and hopes and distant fears, rendered in warm and enveloping melodies. It’s filled with disjointed logic and evocative imagery, songs that feel just slightly out-of-step with time.
“I hold it, but there’s nothing I can do to stop it from growing if it wants to,” Benton opens on mid-album highlight “Adeline.” That sense of life spiraling out of control is apparent throughout the album, as Benton and his cast of collaborators for the album — which includes Sheer Mag’s Kyle Seely, his LVL UP bandmate Nick Corbo, Yours Are The Only Ears’ Susannah Cutler, and Jim Hill, who used to play in Trace Mountains in its earliest iterations — try to tamper unpredictability with persistent rhythms that tick like clockwork
- Via Stereogum