Folk indie psychedelic act that mandates YOU listen. Central New York has certainly contributed their fair share of impressive musicians; yet, another band to add to this already long list is Mandate of Heaven. Essentially, the band was founded by Greg Pier, of which, he also serves as lead songwriter and singer.

Pier is a multi-instrumentalist that plays almost all instruments in the group’s recordings.  Their music is a mix of indie folk pop with a touch of psychedelia. The Next Valley Over lumps together 11 acoustic driven melancholic sounds along with Pier’s soft gruff vocals. With an impressive 10 full records under the group’s belt, Mandate of Heaven have certainly not wasted any time creating music. Although Mandate is pretty much referred to as a group, Pier also uses the title, Mandate of Heaven, for his solo performances and recordings.  At certain points in recording the albums and throughout his career, Pier has played and recorded with many different musicians including Thursday keyboardist Andrew Everding.

The Next Valley Over features plenty of cryptic and melancholic guitar work which worked perfectly with Pier’s soul-search-triggering vocals. Tracks like “Riverbed” feature a slight 70s folk sound along with a hint of psychedelic influences. As for the title track, The Next Valley Over, it opens with a swamp rock country style guitar and upbeat drumming that brings back to mind Creedance Clearwater Revival.

Other influences that Pier cites include artists like Neil Young, Rebecca Gates, The Jesus Lizard, Led Zeppelin, Sonic Youth, Guided by Voices and Cheap trick; among countless others.

Mandate of Heaven has made all of their albums available for free download under creative commons.

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