“Let’s take the long way home / Let’s throw away our phones,” Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote. OK, it wasn’t Emerson, it was Jordan Lee, who records under the name Mutual Benefit. But Lee’s call to unplug and explore the beauty of an uninterrupted starry night is just what the Transcendentalists would have rallied behind, had they had access to Bandcamp. The lyrics are the opening couplet of Lee’s “Lost Dreamers,” a truly gorgeous ode to getting away from it all. The song itself sounds organic: it floats on a breeze of swelling strings, flowing harmonies serene like a stream.
The video for “Lost Dreamers” keeps in step with the song’s majestic feel. Directed by Ethan Samuel Young, its pastoral scenery is infiltrated by cityscape apparitions reminiscent of those Joel witnesses as his memories collide and unravel in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. The surreal elements seems to add a heightened meaning to the song. For city dwellers, maybe the grind is something one can’t escape, an ever-haunting presence. You may put your phone on silent, but you won’t literally throw it away, and when you return, the emails and texts are waiting to be answered.
“Lost Dreamers” is Mutual Benefit’s second single from Skip a Sinking Stone, which is out May 20. Pre-order it here.