Big Thief’s Buck Meek delivers from high on the ear-friendly album

Buck Meek, “Haunted Mountain” (4AD)

Buck Meek, the stellar guitarist of Big Thief, is out with his third studio album, “Haunted Mountain.” It is a lovely fusion of twang and rock with prime songwriting that works to define the art of caring.

Sure, this is largely love song territory for the troubadour. He sought a bit of solace and wrote the songs in the mountains of Portugal and the Swiss Alps. But it’s a deft examination of how the heart grows, and not a breezy travelogue.

The title track is buoyed with hope as Meek sings “All of my life I’ve been a rounder / Traveling across this green land / But now that I live here on this haunted mountain / I know I’m never coming down.”

Surprises abound. The Texas-reared Meek collaborated with filmmakers working on a project about the late Judee Sill, a folk singer-songwriter who died in 1979. Meek was asked to put some of her unreleased lyrics to music for the project, and he obliged in fine fashion — released here on “The Rainbow.”

“I tried to honor her, to be a vessel for her,” Meek said in a press release. It’s fitting and it works on the short but sweet track.

In all, “Haunted Mountain” is a jangly collection of country chord structure with moments of electronic swoon, lush reverb and guitars in overdrive. The result is music as inviting and complex as the world-traveled Buck Meek. RON HARRIS, MDT/AP

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