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'Mount Qaf (Divine Love)'   

-  Label: 'Fortune Tellers/Kobalt Music'
-  Genre: 'Indie' -  Release Date: '11th October 2017'

Our Rating:
In which the Washington DC born founder member of The Walkmen seeks to make a seamless transition from anonymous bassist and organist to charismatic front man.

By his own account, Peter Matthew Bauer's album contains ten "esoteric love songs filled with a desperate, sceptical and highly personal form of mysticism".

The fact that superficial pop is well off the agenda is further signaled by the album's title which comes from the book 'Creative Imagination In The Sufism Of Ibn 'Arabi' by Henry Corbin, a French phenomenologist and mystic.

At a more grounded level, the tunes were composed as a reaction to the shock/horror of Trump's election victory although this down to earth dimension is easy to miss beneath dense songs with weighty titles like Divine Love To Kill Fascism, Transhistoric Cycles Of Time and I Ching (Àlam Al Mithal).     

Bauer hits the ground running with Wild Light a strident go for broke Indie rocker about apocalyptic moments and tapping into our "hidden aliveness". In this and several other tracks the influence of the late Tom Petty is plain to hear.

A wall of drone gives impetus to Khidr (American Drifter Music), a love song to his wife, children and the universe which contains the note to self: "don't let the doom set in".

At its best, songs like these have the urgency of sophisticated garage rock, like Kurt Vile on uppers. This energy seems to quietens the voices inside Bauer's head to provide a welcome contrast to his tendency towards navel gazing.

For all the philosophical baggage, the underlying message of the record is a simple one: 'love conquers all'. In consequence, the answer to the rhetorical question he poses: Will You Still Speak Of Love? is a resounding 'Yes'.

Peter Matthew Bauer's website
  author: Martin Raybould

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BAUER, PETER MATTHEW - Mount Qaf (Divine Love)