THE VIDEO for the title track of 2/3 Goat’s EP Stream of Conscience features members of the New York City-based band standing knee-deep in a stream in the mountains of Central Appalachia. Lead singer and mandolin player Annalyse McCoy belts: “Stream of conscience hear my cry / I don’t want my hills to die.” The video intermixes a fictional family’s daily life in the coalfields with harrowing footage of mountaintop removal (MTR) coal mining, which has destroyed more than 300 mountains in the region. In later scenes, the band walks down a country road with coal-dust covered miners, young people, and families in a rambling, spontaneous protest march. It truly is a visual evocation of Appalachia Rising—a tagline of the region’s anti-MTR movement.
The other core members are guitarist, song writer, and vocalist Ryan Dunn and fiddler Ryan Guerra. 2/3 Goat is a self-proclaimed metrobilly band, a portmanteau referring to the music’s urban audience and its roots in country and mountain music. Its acoustic-driven, bluegrass- and old-time-music-inspired sound has engaging harmonies and a sweetness and honesty to it. The other tracks on this five-song release are strong, both in musical composition and storytelling. “Lay It on the Line” is a playful duet between McCoy and Dunn with upbeat fiddle, guitar, and mandolin accompaniment that will make you want to flat foot (if you have enough mountain swagger to pull it off) to this almost-love song. “Band of Gold” highlights McCoy’s textured alto voice and ability to wail when the lyrics call for it. The tone is emotionally heavy, but the fiddle accompaniment and the shift in tempo at the end of the song save it from needing a side of whiskey to wash it down.