jaimie branch’s “the mountain” Is A Stunning Cover Of The Meat Puppets’ “Comin’ Down” | Shore Fire Media

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13 July, 2023Print

jaimie branch’s “the mountain” Is A Stunning Cover Of The Meat Puppets’ “Comin’ Down”

 Featuring Lead Vocals By Fly or Die Bassist Jason Ajemian 

Watch The Video For “the mountain” HERE

From The Late Musician / Composer’s Final Fly or Die Album, Out August 25 On International Anthem

Pre-Order Fly or Die Fly or Die Fly or Die ((world war)) HERE


(Photo credit: Ben Semisch, courtesy of Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts)


Album Release Celebration Event Set For October 2 At Roulette in Brooklyn

Will Feature A Screening Of Never-Before-Seen Live Fly or Die Footage & Performances By Rob Mazurek, Ambrose Akinmusire, Dave Ballou, Plus More Surprise Guests

Tickets + More Info Here


Today, International Anthem shares "the mountain," the latest single from jaimie branch's Fly or Die Fly or Die Fly or Die ((world war)), out August 25. The record is the late trumpeter and composer's third and final album with her quartet. Whereas lead single “take over the world” paired branch’s virtuosity with the unrelenting velocity of hardcore, “the mountain” — a cover of The Meat Puppets’ “Comin’ Down” — is sparse and rustic, a beautifully loose and minimalist Appalachian blues. Fly or Die bassist Jason Ajemian sings lead while branch provides harmonies. In singing together, they express a congenial solidarity — branch and Ajemian were best friends and longtime collaborators, after all — and though restrained, it's rousing.


(Photo credit: Ben Semisch, courtesy of Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts)


Says Ajemian:

“jai & I got 20 years of sharing life and playing all sorts of music together. Primarily on our instruments but also with our voices. We shared a similar idiosyncratic style of singing that often found our feels exploding out of our range. Loving and laughing at those moments the most, we supported each other while gradually learning to tame those wilds. On this album, to me, jaimie became the master of her voice & her gargantuan spirit.”


A heartfelt note from branch to Ajemian. (Courtesy of Jason Ajemian)


In the video for “the mountain” — directed by media artist Kim Alpert, a longtime friend and creative collaborator of branch’s — Ajemian takes a scenic journey, double bass slung over his shoulder, to an Alaskan glacier. As a certified bush pilot, Ajemian has made countless trips to this same icecap, especially when branch lived nearby in Talkeetna, Alaska in the summer and fall of 2020. Watch the video and listen to “the mountain” here.


Says Alpert:

I knew the second I heard this song I wanted to make a video for it. It was hard to let go of all the plans and ideas we had talked about and make something else, but that's what we do, we just have to keep going. Choosing the art-life requires great inner strength. We carry on our backs the will to make and share our work. It can be a burden or a gift depending on the view or the day. I'm thankful Jason was up for this concept of Atlas meets Sisyphus, Andrew for getting it all shot while I had surgery, and for the Bemis footage of jaimie's gorgeous solo.”

The branch family has also confirmed an October 2 Fly or Die Fly or Die Fly or Die ((world war)) album release event at Roulette in Brooklyn. This record release show will begin with never-before-seen footage of branch and her band's final concert together, during which they played Fly or Die Fly or Die Fly or Die ((world war)) in full (the only time the band ever did) to a live audience at Bemis Center for the Contemporary Arts in Omaha, Nebraska. There, the beloved artist is seen in all her glory, playing against a backdrop of her own artwork. Directly following the screening will be live performances by Rob MazurekAmbrose AkinmusireDave Ballou and other surprise guests, all of whom will come together to pay tribute to their friend, student and collaborator, jaimie branch.

More information on October 2 album release event here. 

Proceeds from the event will go towards The jaimie branch Foundation. The jaimie branch Foundation was established to ensure the energy, legacy and power of jaimie branch live on. The executive and artistic boards are made up of close family, friends and collaborators of branch. A few projects are underway, including an artist residency that will allow one solo artist to visit, work and even stay in the same cabin that branch occupied in Talkeetna, Alaska during the summer of 2020. For more information, go to jaimiebranch.com and donorbox.org/the-jaimie-branch-foundation.

According to KCRW, lead single "take over the world" is "a robust, hardcore avalanche of percussion and heartfelt trumpet.” The New York Times says that branch’s “fury gathers a fierce, joyful momentum,” while Paste says “her band crackles and stomps like a New Orleans second line on a tequila bender." Stereogum describes it as “driving and urgent and percussive, with branch going back and forth between riotous trumpet blasts and feverish chanting, over a frantically locked-in rhythm section."

Watch the video for “take over the world,” directed by Emmy-winning filmmaker Jon Philpot, here.



(Photo credit: Ben Semisch, courtesy of Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts)


about jaimie branch

At the age of 39, jaimie “breezy” branch had already established herself at the vanguard of modern jazz composition, blurring genre boundaries and performing with an inimitable power that Pitchfork’s Allison Hussey said “connected the focus and intensity of high-concept sound artists with the unbridled joy of living in the moment.”

branch was also a tireless collaborator, who worked with samba icon Elza Soares; noise icons Wolf Eyes; indie stars like TV on the Radio, Yo La Tengo and Spoon; British dub producer The Bug; the First Nations rock collective Medicine Singers; and various International Anthem labelmates, including Jeff Parker, Ben LaMar Gay, and Alabaster DePlume, among so many others. She even made a post-mortem appearance on Talib Kweli & Madlib’s album Liberation 2 released earlier this spring, playing trumpet in a stunning co-composed duet with Madlib on keys.


Read jaimie branch’s full bio here.


Pre-Order Fly or Die Fly or Die Fly or Die ((world war))