Monarch Mtn. is unaffiliated with the Salida ski area, and it’s not a mountainous presence. It’s the stage name of Logan Farmer, a prolific Fort Collins singer-songwriter who has recorded six albums of experimental folk music since 2013.
Still, the name suits his epic and sometimes towering soundscapes. “Days of Sleepwater” sounds so intimate and personal that it could only be a solo project, but it also is so grand and sweeping that it’s hard to believe he made it at home.
It is his second album in less than a year, after the equally beautiful “I Woke at the Station,” which he recorded in a cabin in the Michigan woods. Farmer said the isolation and self-imposed two-week recording deadline was “extremely grueling.”
On the other hand, he describes the subsequent home recording as “a meditative practice” that resulted in a more “delicate and spacious” record.
The home recording, “Days,” unfolds gently with a minute of guitar, guest cello and a percussion track that chugs like a slow-motion train. This leads into the seven-minute highway lament of “Canyon Blues.”
“I’m too nervous to be happy all the time / I hope you’re never scared of me,” he sings.
He sounds like Devendra Banhart’s quieter moments or a modern Tim Buckley, particularly on the jazzy saxophone-enhanced second track, “Trick of the Light.” Or perhaps a Bandcamp fan said it best in describing the music as delivering “end of the night, loitering in the kitchen listening to music instead of going to sleep kinda vibes.”
Farmer is already writing a full batch of songs for an upcoming climate change project, and he will play a show with Twin Vessels to reopen the Mouse House on Saturday, Feb. 2. Check out monarchmtnmusic.com for details.