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Small World is a return to simple pleasures, nature, an embracing in part of more pared down, songwriterly sonics (some moments wouldn’t sound amiss on a Wilco release), all while asking broader existential questions: which feels at least somewhat rooted in the period of time during which it was made – 2020.
In many ways, not being out on the road but instead writing new music from home gave Mount a different framework from which to draw. Spending time with his girlfriend and their two kids during lockdown meant there was home-schooling to do, time spent in the garden exploring and tending to nature, less of the intensity of the touring lifestyle. “I could be a bit more loose with ideas and relaxed,” he says, acknowledging how both the stillness and sadness of the past two years impacted his writing. Even the album title seems to nod to the ways all of our worlds shrunk as we were asked to stay at home. Still, he is wary of how trite making a ‘pandemic album’ would be, and reiterates although it was of course shaped by the past two years: “It’s not explicitly about coronavirus. It’s about life and the people that you love.”