Track By Track: Merz – Thinking Like A Mountain


Accidental Records is an incredibly interesting label. Matthew Hebert is the man behind the scenes and in recent months he has used it as an output for his own music. However, recently he has been involved in the mixing process behind a new Merz album titled "Thinking Like A Mountain":  the album itself is dreamy, eerie and mellow: subtle yet experimental. We took the chance to learn more about the record and decided that the best way for it to be explained was through Merz himself. He has very kindly offered us the opportunity to talk us through the release as follows, track by track. 


In making an album I create my own personal paradise.

“A symphony is not just a composition in the ordinary sense of the word it is more a confession of faith at different stages of one’s life”. Sibelius

This song has a bunch of threads running through it but it could, I guess, in one sense be about ageing.

The older you get the more you get it but the less it makes sense. Making music helps me turn the days to night.

“Learning through the senses is acquiring knowledge from an enchanted universe”.

And it’s about knowing. All of society around us and life itself is shaped by the things we may wilfully claim ignorance of. There's no merit in not knowing.

'The outrageous flaunting of folly in the face of a danger it is unable to comprehend'. Joseph Conrad

This song co-written with Icelandic creative force Gyða Valtýsdóttir who created all the ambient and noise sounds from a tiny contact mic pointed at her neck, she then played along with the noise on Cello.

Words I wrote listening to each track while searching for an album title –

breath, air, stately, glacial pace, golden, strong steps, sunset, dusk, heavy eyes, planetary noise, growth, vastness, a harsh beauty, mythical monstrous snake with whipping tongue.


“Music, like all the arts, is a sacred pursuit. It is an end in itself. The reward of playing music is in the joy of experiencing it, and a successful musician is the person who becomes so connected with that spirit of music that he or she becomes inseparable from it. The successful musician aspires to be music itself”. Andrew WK

This song was co-written with the inspirational NYC musician Shahzad Ismaily. We recorded it as a song as is, with no vocal changes or drop-ins, one take, the only starting point being a loop idea I had on my computer (which doesn’t feature in the end track) and with quickly assembled related thoughts from the lyric book.

Words I wrote listening to each track while searching for an album title –

bliss, warm bath, a dream, sadness, bigness, ragged, oceanic, wide horizons.


It'll come from there or from there or there but from whichever way it’s gonna hit you, life. 

So you better get prepared.

Most songs on this album refer to three intense and difficult experiences me and my family went through recently. Too personal to elaborate on here but worth mentioning the authenticity of experience within the songs.

"In the marketplace of ideas truth is a poor seller".

Music helps people get through life it helps consolidate life’s experiences, it’s about how it makes you feel in the moment, the now.

“The finest music has a quality of consolation you find nowhere else, with perhaps the exception of religion or being in contact with small children”. Werner Herzog

Words I wrote listening to each track while searching for an album title –

broken, mournful, muted warmth, fuzzy.


If you can’t prove there’s life after death and if you can’t prove that death is death and is all, then what’s left is mystery and maybe that is the essence and beauty of living; mystery.

The historic world religions are like fruits on a tree, they eventually go rotten and attract the rotten. But it should not be overlooked that once in their fairest seasons they were a force of unification and contributed to leaps in the evolution of man.

This song also written with Shahzad Ismaily and deftly and beautifully mixed (as were all tracks on this album) by Matthew Herbert.

Words I wrote listening to each track while searching for an album title –

sadness, darkness, night, death, wind, rising and falling like a boat on the sea, restraint, beauty, metaphysical beauty, words, grief, freeness, prayer.


The line between virtue and corruption is paper thin, and make no mistake we are all capable of crossing that line…in either direction.

Far-reaching change is what’s needed, far-reaching change on all fronts. There will be a convergence between the forces of creation and the forces of destruction as creation triumphs once again. But we should brace ourselves because it'll get even worse before it gets better. 

It’s no use clamorously clinging to any identity in an inevitably changing world

“Be not only a citizen of the planet, be a citizen of time. Recognize that what is fundamental is to be in rapport with the human race from the dawn of history on to the heights we can only vaguely begin to dream of. And what’s the alternative? The alternative is to make a compromise with this rotten capitalist system”.  Farrell Dobbs

Written with Bern drummer and sound artist Julian Sartorius.

Words I wrote listening to each track while searching for an album title –

heart, empathy, catharsis, it's ok, lightness, togetherness, tenderness, fairytales, through the looking glass, enchanted forest, walking.


“Everything that is sacred and wishes to remain so must envelop itself in mystery”. Stéphane Mallarmé

It might be that life on earth is not as precious as we like to think.

“Nothing very very good and nothing very very bad ever lasts for very very long”. Douglas Coupland

Words I wrote listening to each track while searching for an album title –

clickety click, serenity, marching forward, defiance, high clouds, blue sky.


There are so many roads. Just keep moving. Decisions are never grave. You'll always end up in the same place. 

“Skyscraper Mysticism”, a term coined by Paul Rosenfeld.

“It’s discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit”. Nöel Coward

There's a strata of really excellent music, not influenced by commercial forces or aspirations and all the bands caught above this strata are lost, rich but lost. Mistaking money for significance. At the end of every civilisation a kind of beauty in decadence becomes a fascination. They seem oblivious to the fact that it was this kind of disproportionate wealth that put the music industry in crisis in the first place.

We are all just musicians, there is no difference between us. 

Words I wrote listening to each track while searching for an album title –

machines, psychedelia, big futuristic urban landscape, wildness, boy, resignation and freedom, movement, motion, kinetics, train-like, momentum.


All this heartbreak is not for nothing

It feeds you

Makes you more of a human being.

“Virtue that is not tested is no virtue at all”. John Milton

“A man got into the carriage and began to play on a fiddle made apparently of an old blacking-box, I seemed to hear a voice of lamentation out of the Golden Age. It told me that we are imperfect, incomplete, and no more like a beautiful woven web, but like a bundle of cords knotted together and flung into a corner. It said that the world was once all perfect and kindly, and that still the kindly and perfect world existed, but buried like a mass of roses under many spadefuls of earth… and that the best of our moments are marred by a little vulgarity, or by a needle-prick out of sad recollection, and that the fiddle must ever lament about it all. It said that if only they who live in the Golden Age could die we might be happy, for the sad voices would be still; but they must sing and we must weep until the eternal gates swing open”. W. B. Yeats

Words I wrote listening to each track while searching for an album title –

off into the sunset, postscript, quiet moment, back to childhood, back to naivety, another dream, floating, final word, things are tough, hope, empathy, togetherness, new dawns.

Follow Merz on Facebook HERE. Buy the album HERE