Working out in the wilderness, far away from civilization, combined with imagination running at full speed. Today’s artist knows exactly what it feels like, and he channels all of that into short delightful folk tunes. His newest single you’re about to read on is one of the spookier tunes!
Mountain Mansion is the musical alias of Shane Turner, a multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter. In the past, Turner has performed a lot across US and Canada, until he decided to take the job of a fire lookout . Retiring from music followed, but only until one day when Turner watched a wildfire creeping close to his tower and he had to be evacuated. That experience reignited the songwriter spark in him, and the first song “Evacuation Day” was born on a helicopter trip back to safety. Ever since then, Turner has taken his experiences of being a fire lookout and inspirations from fellow coworkers’ stories, and turned them into folk songs as fresh as the mountains he works in. Mountain Mansion was born, the outlet of optimism, simple and pure feelings and soft melodies following the dreams and adventures far away in the wilderness.
“I was in a lot of atmospheric indie rock, math rock and shoegaze bands. This new project is not that, it’s indie-folk exploring storytelling songwriting for the first time in my life. Naturally there will be some electric guitar atmosphere thrown in as I still have 41 guitar pedals that I can’t let gather dust. But all of the sounds on my next record are there to draw the listener into the stories.”Shane Turner
Working on such a position is without a doubt a fertile ground for spooky stories, fuelled by the events that have taken place in the past. Inspired by the tales, Mountain Mansion’s newest single “Fog Walker of Copton Ridge” is based on one of those stories told by a fellow fire lookout.
“Several years back I took a job as a fire lookout. I was beyond excited about the prospect of getting dropped off by helicopter on a remote mountain or hill that few people had ever stepped foot on.
One uncomfortable fear in the back of my mind though was the mysterious disappearance of a Fire Lookout a few years earlier. The police called it an unsolved mystery but they didn’t tell us that there was nothing to worry about, which we now know, they just said the Lookout went missing and left some of our imaginations to run wild with the possibility that there might be someone out there targeting fire lookouts.
Really we are very safe and protected, but I get jumpy in the dark. So that first year all the creaks and knocks caused by weather and wildlife startled me at night, even though my fire tower was next to impossible to get to without a helicopter.
I heard another story from years back of a lookout on Copton Ridge who was spooked by a hiker showing up in the middle of the storm. He saw the hiker through the window. A long bearded man with a face that looked like a skull. The Lookout trembled nervously on the edge of his bed waiting for a knock on the door. It never came. Who knows what the hiker wanted? Years later he heard a story of an aged trapper in the same area who had contracted rabies and didn’t die but instead became insane, wandering in High Country for years afterwards.
I thought that bizarre story would make a cool song.”
Starting off with foggy echoing sounds surrounding the simple guitar melody, the song spins up a mystery-veiled nighttime atmosphere. His voice brings forth all of the fear and spooked state the fire lookout must have felt at the time, further enhanced by the very slight quiver in the vocals. Chilling and ghostly, the eternity of that night echoes on with the wonder who that might have been, spiced up by a worry for your own life, this song is one of those most vibrant memories of looking out of the window into the dark. Fear of seeing something terrifying intertwined with the need for truth, your capsule of safety has suddenly shrunk into tiny size.
“Was this a ghost? Maybe…”
A phrase in the mind of anyone who keep on staring into the night, trying to figure out what was that they just saw, and way too terrified to go inspect. A great little song to offer a different energy into the darkening nights!
“Fog Walker of Copton Ridge” is the third single from the upcoming album set to release next year. More exciting stories to wait for!
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